RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, Calif., May 29 (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook said he would like to see more of the company’s products assembled at home than in China and contain more U.S. components such as semiconductors.
Apple has been criticized for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to assemble its products and for contributing to the decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Cook, who took the helm of the world’s most valuable technology company in August shortly before founder Steve Jobs died, said manufacturing in the United States was difficult because of declining tool-and-die manufacturing expertise, among other things, but he was working on it.
“There are things that can be done in the U.S., not just for the U.S. market but that can be exported for the world,” Cook told this year’s All Things Digital conference, an annual gathering of A-list technology and media executives in the upscale California coastal resort town of Rancho Palos Verdes.
“On the assembly piece, could that be done in the U.S.? I hope so, again, one day,” he added.
All of Apple’s final assembly is done through Asian contract manufacturers, particularly Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology and its Chinese factories. Cook noted that Apple does some component manufacturing in the United States, including the main microchip that runs the iPhone and iPad.
Apple makes the A5 processor in a 1.6 million square-foot factory in Austin, Texas, owned by Korean electronic giant Samsung Electronics. Cook also said some of the glass for the iPhone and iPad is made in a plant in Kentucky.
The CEO also talked about how the Pad was just in the “first innings,” but declined to say what was in store for it next.
He reiterated his belief that many consumers will use the iPad more than computers as he does.
“I love my Mac, but I find myself spending more and more time on my iPad,” he said.
Apple released the iPad in 2010 and it has quickly defined the tablet computer market, selling more than 67 million units so far.