updated 12:53 pm EDT, Fri June 1, 2012
Transportation, wage costs seen as major issues
Apple CEO Tim Cook's suggestion of moving production lines back to the US would be very difficult in the short term, note supply chain sources in contact with DigiTimes. The people point out that most of the companies supplying parts to Apple are located in Asia, and shipping the parts back to the US could prove too expensive.
Component makers are thought to be unlikely to follow production lines to the US, given the time and expense of moving. American workers are also much better paid than their Asian counterparts, which would affect bottom lines.
Some parts for Apple products are already made in the US, such as the A-series processors and Gorilla Glass used for iOS handhelds. The hint of moving production jobs to the US may be more of an attempt at improving the company's public perception, since Asian manufacturers like Foxconn have come under fire for labor practices such as low wages, demanding heavy amounts of overtime, and poor safety standards. The US economy remains in a fragile state, and bringing more jobs to the country might further boost Apple's popularity.