- Apple moves the production of its new Mac Pro computer to China according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The decision marks the departure of the tech giant's only major product made in the United States
- Changing production to a Shanghai -A factory will help reduce shipping costs at Apple's other suppliers in China, the report noted.
Apple is moving the production of its new Mac Pro computer to China, marking the exit of the technology company's only major US-built product, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple did not reject the report in a comment on CBS MoneyWatch. The Cupertino, California-based company works with contractor Quanta Computer to assemble desktop computers in a factory near Shanghai, which would help reduce shipping costs at Apple's other suppliers in China.
The Mac Pro model was manufactured by Entrepreneur Flex in Austin, Texas since 201
"Final assembly is only part of the manufacturing process," an Apple spokesman added.
Spokesman's refusal to comment without explanation.
Flex's Austin factory encountered problems finding sufficient skilled labor willing to work for minimum wages, according to Journal. Then Flex, like the Mac Pro sales, began to lay workers in Austin, and last year a skeleton crew returned to Austin, according to a former Flex Vice President quoted by Journal.
Neither Flex nor Quanta Computer responded promptly to comment requests.
Unlike iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple's Mac Pro is not one of the technology's best-selling products, even though it's a $ 19,000 starting price,. But Apple has long attracted criticism for relying on China to manufacture its products. With the Trump Administration's commercial war with China, Apple among the US companies has faced higher costs due to new and proposed US tariffs on imports from China.
tech giant just last week warned trade officials the latest round of tariffs on China would damage its competitiveness. It has also reportedly been studying to move nearly a third of its output out of China, although any decision to do so would probably be a long process as it may take years for a global company like Apple.
"We urge the US government not to impose tariffs on these products," Apple wrote.
The development comes just as Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet Saturday at the G20 summit in Japan.
Separately, Apple's annual design manager Jony Ive also announced his departure from the company on Thursday. The man behind the iconic design of the iPhone, iMac and iPad, after more than two decades, moves Apple to launch its own design company, the company said Thursday.
But he is not completely cut off for the company he has been working on for almost 30 years. Apple said it would be one of Ives' customers with its new company. Cupertino, California, the company did not give a precise date for his departure.
Ive been an attachment to Apple's design team since the early 1990s and is known for shaping Apple's signature rounded stylish designs. He is often pointed out as the visionary behind what Apple has seen from its competitors – technology that didn't just look like boxes of wires, but it was fashionable and trendy.
Ive joined the company in 1992 as a young senior designer. Apple's co-founder and long-time leader Steve Jobs was in the midst of his 12-year-old exile at the time, and at his homecoming, he was named senior vice president of industrial design.
The couple were known to work closely together for decades before Job's death in 2011 – once Jobs referred to Ive as his "spiritual partner.
– With reporting by The Associated Press.