After reports surfaced earlier this week that Apple had been manufacturing some of its devices in the United States, company CEO Tim Cook told NBC news anchor Brian Williams that Apple will, in fact, be moving the production of one of its Mac lines to America, a move that will cost the company approximately $100 million.
In the interview, which airs later this evening and is Cook’s first since he took the helm as CEO in mid-2011, he also said the company plans to build a data center in Texas, in addition to existing data centers in North Carolina, Nevada and Oregon. Cook declined to state specifically where the computers would be made, however.
“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” Cook told Williams. “When you back up and look at Apple’s effect on job creation in the United States, we estimate that we’ve created more than 600,000 jobs now.”
Apple is one of the most bulletproof brand names in the world but has come under fire since reports emerged in October that Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing company that makes the iPhone handset, had been employing underage workers at its factories.
Cook said it was a lack of skilled workers in America that led Apple to manufacture the iPhone and its other products overseas. “It’s not so much about price, it’s about the skills,” he said. “The consumer electronics world was really never here. It’s a matter of starting it here.”
In addition to his claims that Apple is bringing device manufacturing to the U.S., Cook also had some choice words for the makers of television sets, leading to a flurry of speculation online that he was dropping hints about Apple’s long-rumored TV.
“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook said. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”
An Apple TV is no longer a matter of “if,” but “when,” Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton wrote in a June 1 research note. The pair forecast a retail price between $1,500 and $2,000 for a TV with a display between 42 and 55 inches, for the new device to add between 4 and 8 percent to Apple’s 2013 revenue and for it to accomplish nothing short of revolutionizing how people consume content in their living rooms.