Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2013 Mac Pro Launch Postponed Due to Screws

Joe Rossignol:

The New York Times today published a story explaining why Apple is unlikely to manufacture more of its products in the United States.

The report reveals an interesting anecdote about the latest Mac Pro. In late 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted that the computer would be “Made in the USA,” but sales were supposedly postponed by months in part because Apple could not secure enough custom screws for the computer from U.S.-based suppliers.

Josh Centers has highlighted some interesting quotes.

Greg Koenig:

The real indictment here is about Apple’s sourcing failing them, not US manufacturing. There are well over 100 shops in the US who could knock those screws out easily. And please, I hear the nightmare stories of China sourcing…

Paul Haddad:

Why is no one asking why Apple needs custom screws for a desktop machine?

Colin Cornaby:

While I’m sure Apple is a little more over the top than others, PC workstation vendors still use a lot of custom bits including screws. People everywhere get a bit more demanding about quality when they spend $5k-$10k on a computer.

I think the difference is I’m not sure any of those vendors would have wanted to use a major upgrade as an excuse to bet everything on an experiment with vendors.

Casey Johnston:

this is letting apple off incredibly easily, like letting a child not go to school because it “can’t find” its shoes

John Gruber:

This is a perfect example of how Apple’s China-centered supply chain, built over two decades, is going to be hard to replicate anywhere else in the world — and even if it happens, it’s going to take time.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I think the comment quoted speaks for itself. The article is absolutely treating its reader like idiots.

And someone might want to dig out the news about *special* screws Apple were using for their iMac Pro VESA Stands.

Back in the 80s when Japan started to take over manufacturing, US makers of screws would complain that they could not sell to the Japanese and cried foul over protectionism. It turned out US-made screws were made of softer metal and would strip too easily when run on Japanese factories' high-speed drill with JIS cruciform patterns designed to avoid cam-out.

"Another frustration with manufacturing in Texas: American workers won’t work around the clock. Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals. That was not an option in Texas."

This one quote in context discredits the entire premise of the article for me. The Mac Pro is a MINISCULE volume product by Apple's standards. The notion that anything would need to be done around the clock for normal production is just a joke.


"The notion that anything would need to be done around the clock for normal production is just a joke."

The notion that US factories are unable to operate 24 hours a day is just a joke. Has the journalist never heard of shift work?

The whole article was a joke. Especially the weird quote about summoning 100,000 workers in the middle of the night because the government is authoritarian. I doubt the Chinese government is telling Foxconn employees when to show up for work. And didn't the US government put hundreds of thousands of people to work around the clock for WWII? NYT is losing credibility by putting authoritarian scare quotes into tech stories.

Leave a Comment