When asked at the All Things D conference by Kara Swisher why Apple does not have its own factories in China, Tim Cook spoke highly of the plants already in place. "We decided a decade ago that there were things Apple could do best and that there were other things that somebody else can do as well or better. Manufacturing was one of those. I think that's still true." Cook's comments come at a time when critics have been relatively silent on manufacturing plants such as Foxconn, while Walk Mossberg continues to question him on the subject.
Even though critics are relatively silent as of the past few weeks on working conditions in China, Cook took the opportunity to assure the public that they were indeed doing everything in their power to ensure positive outcomes. Cook added several comments on the conditions provided in China plants across the country:
"[Apple] has been working to reduce overtime. That is tricky. Some people want to work a lot. They want to move and work for a year or two and then move back to their village and bring back as much money as they can." - Cook
Cook noted that, regardless of that, Apple can confirm that plants working on their products have a 95 percent compliance with overtime laws and that they are currently tracking 700,000 workers in China. "I don't know anyone else is doing this, we're micromanaging this."
Mossberg asked Cook if he envisioned factories popping up in the USA and noted that Apple at one point did, in fact, have several factories making Apple products across the country. Cook replied:
"I want there to be. This is not well known, but the engine for the iPhone and the iPad are build in the U.S. in Austin, Texas. The glass is made in a plant in Kentucky." - Cook
Cook went on to note that while there's an intense focus on the final assembly, a lot of value is still placed by Apple in the different materials. Cook went on to comment on a question of whether the assembly of Apple products could once again take place in the USA:
"I hope so, someday. … There are things we can do and that's what we are working on. We should do more semiconductor things in the U.S." - Cook
Check out our timeline below to keep up with the whole interview from D10 and stick around as this talk continues to be mined for gems!