Apple does the math on "Made in America" iPhone

The fact that iPhones are largely assembled in China has long been a topic of debate and, for some, a point of contention. If new reports are to be believed, there may come a day when iPhones are manufactured in the US. That's according to Nikkei Asian Review, which spoke to unnamed sources who said that Apple has been in discussions with suppliers about the possibility of American manufacturing.

According to these sources, Apple has asked both Foxconn and Pegatron, companies which assemble the iPhone, to look into the potentially making iPhones on US soil. Unfortunately, Pegatron declined to even look into US manufacturing, due to worries that the cost would be too high. No would said it would be easy to bring iPhone manufacturing to the US, we suppose.

More encouraging is the fact that Foxconn wasn't as dismissive of the notion. Foxconn agreed to look into whether or not producing iPhones in the US is a viable move, so it's nice to hear that company didn't deny Apple's request up front. Still, it sounds like Foxconn executives are doing this as a favor to Apple, one of i's larger customers, and not necessarily because they're excited about the idea of moving production to the States.

That's because costs will undoubtedly rise if iPhones are manufactured in the United States. It's unclear how much, exactly, those costs will rise, but one of Nikkei's sources said that the expectation is that costs would "more than double."

Assuming that's true, then American-made iPhones would likely come with a fairly significant mark up for consumers. While it may not seem likely that we'll see US-made iPhones soon, this isn't the first time Apple has brought up the possibility. The company has discussed manufacturing in the US over the years, and brought some Mac production the US back in 2013.

Foxconn has also reportedly considered US plants in the past, so it's not as if this is an idea the two companies are just now beginning to consider. We'll have to wait and see how everything shakes out, but even if Foxconn can be persuaded to put together iPhones in US-based plants, we probably won't see such a transition for quite some time. Stay tuned.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asian Review