WASHINGTON, December 6 (RIA Novosti) – Widely known for the overseas production of its computers, iPhones and iPads, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with NBC News on Thursday that the company will be manufacturing one of its existing Mac computer lines exclusively in the United States next year.
“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” Cook said in an interview that will air on NBC’s “Rock Center” on Thursday night, adding that it’s important to bring additional jobs to the US which is still struggling with high unemployment rates and a weak economy.
The Apple CEO indicated that the company has already helped spur job growth over the past few years and that “when you back up and look at Apple’s effect on job creation in the United States, we estimate that we’ve created more than 600,000 jobs now,” Cook told NBC, indicating that the jobs have varied from research and development jobs in the state of California to employees hired in the company’s retail stores.
Cook did not provide details about what computer line will be manufactured or where the construction will take place, but he said the company will be investing more than $100 million in the new project, according to Businessweek.
“We wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million,” Cook said. “This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money.”
The US-made line of Macs is expected to be just a small part of Apple’s overall production.
Over the past couple of years, attention has been drawn to the working conditions at the plants in China that manufacture some of Apple’s most popular products after several employees committed suicide.
“Rock Center” host Brian Williams asked Cook why Apple doesn’t manufacture all of its parts and computers in the US and Cook answered, “It’s not so much about price, it’s about the skills.”
Cook told NBC that the US education system isn’t producing enough individuals with the skills needed for modern manufacturing processes, but that maybe this new project will inspire other US companies to bring their manufacturing businesses back to America.
“The consumer electronics world was really never here,” Cook told NBC. “It’s a matter of starting it here.”
The NBC interview was the first one Cook has conducted since taking over as Apple’s CEO in August 2011, after the company’s former boss, Steve Jobs, resigned due to health reasons and then later died on October 5, 2011 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.