In a recent sit-down on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, Tim Cook was asked about what it would take to manufacture the iPhone in the US. Tim responded by saying that is was less about the price and more about the skills that were required. He went on to say that next year, Apple would start manufacturing one of their Mac lines in the US. Notably, some of the iMacs already say "Made in the USA" so it would seem logical that Apple would expand the US-based iMac production.
“It’s not so much about price, it’s about the skills,”... "We've been working for years on doing more and more in the U.S. Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States,"
Some of the iPhone's parts are already manufactured in the US. The chipset, or "engine" as Cook calls it, is manufactured in Texas, and the Gorilla Glass screen is manufactured in Kentucky. These are then exported to China where it is assembled and then imported back to the USA. In an interview with Bloomberg, Cook mentions that Apple plans to spend more than $100 million next year building its Mac in the US, shifting a small portion of its process away from China. Apple has created more than 600,000 jobs in the USA and is continuing to expand with the construction of their new headquarters in Cupertino, a new campus in Texas, along with new data centers in Nevada and Oregon.
It's not about bringing jobs back to the US, because as technology manufacturing goes, it was never really there. With this move, Apple hopes that is can reverse that trend.
“The consumer electronics world was really never here,” Cook said. “It’s a matter of starting it here.”