Apple screens, chipsets proudly made in the U.S.A.

Gorilla Glass, Apple chipsets proudly made in the U.S.A.

As part of his D10 Conference interview last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook used the occasion to once again respond to critics of Apple's China policies and remind them key parts of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad are in fact made in the U.S.A -- including the Corning Gorilla Glass screens and the Apple A4, Apple A5, and Apple A5X chipset "brains".

The story of how Apple came to use Corning's Kentucky made Gorilla Glass for the iPhone is well known, involving Steve Jobs, some keys, a scratched iPhone prototype, and a demand to change an entire manufacturing process just weeks before launch. Apple has previously admitted and even touted the connection on their jobs creation page.

Samsung, who fabricates the chips designed by Apple for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV, shifted manufacturing to Austin, Texas some time in 2011. The Apple A5 chipset found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, and likely subsequent chipsets have been produced there ever since.

Riffing on Apple's ongoing patent litigation, which was also discussed, Cook went on to describe how Apple is taking the lead in supply chain responsibility, making it more open and transparent, and reporting on progress more frequently than ever before.

Rather than stealing Apple intellectual property, Tim Cook said he wished Apple competitors who rip off some of that.

Full video below.

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple screens, chipsets proudly made in the U.S.A.

6 Comments

Though I applaud Apple's use of US-based manufacturing plants. I think Cook's comment about competitors trying to "copy that" a bit disingenuous.
If I understand correctly, doesn't Apple use its market position to basically lock out others in the manufacturing process, leaving them little options in creating and assembling their products? Basically, the only way the competition can create a product in a similar price range, is to keep all manufacturing in low-cost countries?

His "copy that" comment was in regards to the reports and reviews of the manufacturing partners...nobody else does that...go to Microsoft's site and find a report on working conditions on their Xbox manufacturing (also Foxconn, btw), or go to Dell or HP and find something like that...nobody has them, at least nothing that's worth reading (I remember Dell or HP having an annual report, but that was pretty much worthless).
So...like Tim, I hope everybody else copies that from Apple.

So, the Apple A4, Apple A5, and Apple A5X are manufactured by Samsung in the US? Or a part of the chipset is made in the US and exported so Samsung can finish the rest?

This I doubt as the first sentence in the ip5 moulding leak it says "A Chinese parts manufacturer has added the above casing to their catalog"

Just as a point of clarification, the iPhone screen is not made in the U.S. -- the glass covering the screen is made in the U.S. This is more clear in the body of the article, but the headline and lead certainly imply that the screen itself is made in the U.S. rather than by LG in Asia. I guess it comes down to semantics of "screen" versus "display," but most people probably think of them interchangeably even when they're not.