Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro production will be moved to China. Quanta Computer Inc will be the contractor (via WSJ—paywall).
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Since Quanta’s facilities are closer to Apple’s other Asian suppliers, the company might be able to lower the shipping costs than if it imported individual components. An Apple spokesperson said the components are made in the U.S, saying that “Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
The company that manufactured the 2013 Mac Pro, Flex Ltd., had challenges. Over 80% of workers were contract employees paid minimum wage for eight-hour workdays. When their shift ended many walked off the job even if the product lines were still running. Production would stop until the next employee arrived.
As demand for the Mac Pro tapered, Flex began laying people off, several former Flex employees said. By last year, they were down to a skeleton crew working just a quarter of one of the assembly lines and refurbishing already-made Mac Pros, said Jeff Gruger, a former vice president of product at Flex.
In previous interviews Tim Cook said he wasn’t particularly worried about Apple being affected by the US-China trade war. Moving more production into China seems to reflect that.