A recent tear-down of 21.5-inch iMac suggests that the Cupertino based company has moved at least part of its production from Asia to the United States.
iFixit, the leading teardown artist of Apple products, has recently found markings inside a new iMac model, which read: ”Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in USA.”
The iPhone maker has not yet confirmed whether or not the company was experimenting with an American manufacturer or if it simply made a mistake while labeling the prosuct.
The Californian tech giant refurbishes devices and creates custom-orders in the U.S., but it does not assemble standard products inside an American factory.
According to 9to5Mac, the fact that the “assembled in USA” notice was etched into the product’s aluminum suggests that it was created in the United States.
Indeed, it would be a departure from Apple’s policy of making virtually all of its marquee products in Asia.
CNET suggested that Apple could be following in the footsteps of Lenovo, who recently described its new North Carolina production plant as follows:
“Long conveyor belts, if you will, and kits moving from worker to worker with specific assembly tasks, starting with a basic chassis of the computer and plugging in the various components to the end of the line,” the company said in October.
“Then there will be a testing station and then a boxing station. It’s not unlike the assembly work that’s done in China, though some of the facilities in China may do a little bit more work on subsystem assembly.”
“It’s the same model we use at our facility in Monterrey, Mexico, which supports North America, and the same model we use in Europe,” the statement read.
The “correct designation” under U.S law is “assembled in the U.S. with some foreign content,” claims Lenovo.
The news comes a few days after Apple announced that it started selling the iPhone 5 contract-free.
Now instead of choosing from carriers when buying the much-anticipated device at the online Apple Store, the Cupertino based company is also offering the option of an “unlocked and contract-free” iPhone 5.
The new feature means that users can insert nano-SIM cards from any supported carrier for use on the network, which is impossible for the locked phones, which are tied to the carrier they purchased the device from, CNETexplains.
However, to accept Apple’s offer also costs some money as unlocked buyers pick up the full price of the iPhone, which starts at $649 for the 16GB model (compared with the subsidized $199 entry price on contract), $749 for the 32GB model, and $849 for the 64GB model.
“The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a wireless contract commitment,” Apple wrote in its description of the unlocked device.
“If you don’t want a multiyear service contract, or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone is the best choice.”
The next-generation smartphone launched earlier this fall with 4G LTE and free turn-by-turn navigation also includes a top-to-bottom redesign that makes the screen longer and thinner, and the entire device lighter.