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Apple to make Mac computers in the US

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed that some Mac computers will be manufactured in the United States from next year.

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Cook said that one of the existing Mac lines will be made exclusively in America, although he did not reveal which one.

"We've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States," Cook said.

imac

© PA Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks talks in front of an image of an iMac and iPad

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP



There had been speculation on the internet over the shift in strategy after new iMacs inscribed with "Assembled in USA" emerged.

This was Cook's first major television interview since taking over from Apple's visionary co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away in October 2011 after a long battle with cancer.

Cook, who has been with Apple since 1998 and was previously the firm's chief operating officer, said that he felt it was important for Apple to create jobs in the US.

America's unemployment rate is currently at around 8% and the country's manufacturing industry has struggled to compete with lower-wage nations such as China.

US companies like Apple have been criticised for not doing more at home, but Cook believes that the firm has created plenty of jobs.

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"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," said Cook.

The jobs are not all direct Apple hires, but cover the broad spectrum of companies connected to Apple products, such as research and development, retail and third-party app developers.

Apple also operates massive data centres in North Carolina, Nevada and Oregon, and intends to establish a new one in Texas.

But the firm currently produces most of its popular iPhone, iPad and iPod devices at factories in China, where it was recently forced to defend working conditions after a spate of suicides at plants run by Foxconn.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the iPad's impact on the market place during the introduction of the iPad mini

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP



Apple hired the non-profit Fair Labour Association to examine the situation at Foxconn plants, and claims that conditions have improved.

Cook told NBC that using manufacturing companies in China and other countries is "not so much about price, it's about the skills".

He said that the US education system is failing to produce employees with the required modern manufacturing skills, although he hopes that the Mac venture will act as a spur for change.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg Business Week, Cook said the technology giant would be investing "over $100m" (£62m) in making more products in the US.

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