It’s official. Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. During his campaign, Trump repeatedly called for Apple to bring manufacturing to the United States and has recently said Apple CEO Tim Cook has ‘eyes open’ to US-assembled iPhones. Should Apple assemble iPhones in the United States and would you be willing to pay more if so?
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Trump campaigned on having Apple bring manufacturing to the United States:
We have such amazing people in this country: smart, sharp, energetic, they’re amazing,” Trump said. “I was saying make America great again, and I actually think we can say now, and I really believe this, we’re gonna get things coming… we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”
Following the election, Trump said he told Cook that his administration would provide a “very large tax cut for corporations” and “create the incentives” for companies like Apple to bring manufacturing to the United States.
A recent NYT profile detailed Foxconn’s iPhone plant in China and the difficulties involved in reproducing that effort in the United States, although Apple has reportedly investigated the possibility following the election in November.
Separately, MIT produced a study over the summer that looked at multiple possibilities for Apple including just bringing assembly to the US or actually sourcing supplies entirely from the United States.
The cost of an iPhone for Apple could go from what is believed to be $4-$10 materially to $30-$40 based on labor costs and shipping expenses. If Apple relied totally on supplies produced in America, the cost per unit could reach around $100 according to that study.