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The very private CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, gave his first two wide-ranging interviews and both will publish Thursday. And he even made some news: Apple is bringing some of its manufacturing, for at least one product, the Mac, back home to the U.S., he revealed in a Q&A with Bloomberg Businessweek. He told NBC’s Brian Williams the same thing, in an interview set to broadcast Thursday night.
“Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac,” Cook said. “We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. 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 reason, he said, is that he feels Apple has a “responsibility” to create jobs.
“I do feel we have a responsibility to create jobs. I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job, but I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs. I think we have a responsibility to give back to the communities, to pick ways that we can do that … and not just in the U.S., but abroad as well.”
It’s not clear that it would be a profitable move for Apple, but it’s sure to be a politically popular move in the current economic environment. It’s even a bit trendy: for some of America’s iconic companies, in-sourcing is all the rage right now.
Cook says the reason Apple doesn’t make most of its products in the U.S. is that the skills and the training necessary are not here. “The consumer electronics industry was almost never here,” he told NBC, in a preview clip available online. “It’s not a matter of bringing it back. It’s a matter of starting it here.”