The company has reportedly considered moving up to 30% of its production outside the country, but according to a report from The Wall Street Journal today, it's also planning to ditch the U.S.in favor of China as the home of production for the new Mac Pro. With trade tensions between the United States and China worsening, Apple is cranking up production of the $6,000 desktop computer at a factory near Shanghai, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Shifting production to a Shanghai-area factory would help reduce shipping costs with Apple's other suppliers in China, the report noted.
However, despite recent reports that Apple was looking to shift up to 30 per cent of iPhone production out of China in a bid to dodge Trump's proposed 25 per cent tariff on products manufactured in the country, the WSJ claims the Mac Pro will be built by Chinese outfit Quanta.
The company's bin-like 2013 Mac Pro has always been its only major device assembled in the United States; it was was manufactured in Austin, Texas, and produced sported an "Assembled in the USA" badge of honour. Then, as Mac Pro sales faltered, Flex began laying off workers in Austin, and by previous year had a skeleton crew left in Austin, according to a former Flex vice president quoted by the Journal. Trump has called out Apple specifically in the past asking it to move more of its production from China to the U.S. "Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process".
The development comes just as Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet Saturday for the G20 Summit in Japan.
Apple's shares were down marginally at $198.69. Apple announced late a year ago it would invest $1 billion to expand its operations there with a new employee campus.
Apple's Mac Pro, a $6,000 machine used by creative professionals, has been facing waning demand, the Journal said. The Cupertino, California-based company is working with contractor Quanta Computer to assemble the desktop computer in a factory near Shanghai, which would help cut shipping costs with Apple's other suppliers in China, the Journal said on Friday. That also means the only major product Apple manufactured in the USA will be joining the rest of the company's lineup in being made overseas.