Apple will reportedly move manufacture of its Mac mini desktop line to American facilities as part of the company's initiative to return device production to U.S. shores, with plants run by partner Foxconn starting recruitment for automated production lines sometime in 2013.
The sometimes reliable Taiwanese publication DigiTimes cited upstream supply chain sources as saying Apple will likely move Mac mini production to one of Foxconn's U.S. plants, though it is unclear if the electronics giant plans to build a new facility or retool an existing location. Foxconn reportedly has "about 15 operating bases" in the U.S.
The rumored move has been foreshadowed by comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who earlier this month said the company will invest over $100 million to produce one line of Macs in the U.S. by 2013. In a separate interview at the "All Things D" conference in May, Cook said that he wanted to see American-made Apple products, but offered no further information on whether that dream would become a reality.
Hopes for American-made Apple products were rekindled when a few new iMac units were labeled as being "Assembled in USA," hinting that the company may be testing domestic production facilities.
According to the publication, Mac mini shipments are expected to reach 1.4 million units by the end of 2012, and will be up 30 percent year-to-year with 1.8 million units in 2013.