Apple is investing more than $100 million to bring production of a line of Mac computers to the US from China, where Macs have been assembled for years.
"Next year we’re going to bring some production to the US,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek. “This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people and we’ll be investing our money.”
Apple, which is notoriously vague about its company plans, did not say which line of computers will be made in America or where exactly the product will be made.
But Cook told NBC's Brian Williams that he believes it’s important to bring more jobs to America, where unemployment hovers around 8 percent.
“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” he said. “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 is referring to jobs directly and indirectly created by Apple, from those staffing retail stores to jobs in research and development. NBC reports that the computer maker already has data centers in North Carolina, Nevada and Oregon and plans to build a new one in Texas.
Many of the parts that go into the iPhone and iPad, including the display glass, are already made in America, Cook said.
“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Cook told Bloomberg. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.”
Apple made and assembles many of its products in the US until the late 1990s, when it moved manufacturing to Asia, where labor costs are much lower.
The company has been heavily criticized for its use of the Foxconn factory in China, which makes Apple iPads, iPods and iPhones.
The New York Times reports that harsh labor conditions, suicides and safety lapses are common at Foxconn.
According to NBC, Apple earlier this year hired the nonprofit Fair Labor Association to examine working conditions at Foxconn.