Apple Decides Go with Quanta Computer: The New Mac Pro to be Manufactured in China, Not USA

It hasn’t been long since Apple revealed to the world its new professional-level desktop system. The flagship device we know as the Mac Pro has evolved over the years. From being a cheese grater to a trash can to a cheese grater again, Apple hit the epitome of idea with this one. But seriously though, what lacks in the innovative design department (not really) is made up in the internals and the overall integration and management. In other words, the new Mac Pro is a machine that redefines all kinds of aesthetics.

The History of Mac Pro

Mac Pro
A Comparison between the Processors of the original Mac Pro and the 2013 (Trash Can) Mac Pro

The story begins back in 2006 when Apple introduced the Mac Pro for the first time. It was a regular, an average Joe’s machine. No. What it offered was truly for professionals. While the name screamed Pro, the price tag might as well have squealed “Bank”. This is because the machine, although geared for the long term, heavy usage, did not come in cheap. Perhaps to put it into perspective, the latest Mac Pro is set to start at a whopping $5999. Mind you, that is with a 256GB SSD. In 2019. Yes, sad but true. Coming back to the topic; The Story of the Mac Pro.

Apple was one of those brands which took pride in its nativity to America. No offense to any blue-red-white stripped Yankees but that is the truth. Ever since the Colonists arrived in the Americas, they have taken pride in their native wilderness, their soil. Perhaps that is what Apple chose to cash when they decided to develop and manufacture its machine in the US. Not only did it increase cost, but it gave Americans (at least) a stamp of approval. It displayed quality which a product that would be made in China, for example, would simply never exhibit. Perhaps it is untrue but the real world does not work on logic, but instead, works on what pleases the eyes and the heart. Anyway, that had been the story with the Mac Pro. Although, by this time, iPhones and MacBooks had been Assembled in China, the Mac Pro was different. Even the trash can Mac Pro was assembled in the wild south of Texas. Going over a change in streak though, according to a report by MacRumors, Apple would be changing that. The upcoming Mac Pro would not be manufactured in the USA but would bear am “Assembled in China” sticker on it instead. According to the report, a company called Quanta Computer from China would be assembling the machines. What is Quanta Computer though?

Why Quanta Computer?

Quanta Computer manufactures the Apple Watch, the MacBooks and now the Mac Pro 2019

Quanta Computer is a Taiwanese based company which was founded back in 1988. The thirty-one-year-old company has been linked with Apple in the past as well. They are responsible for works on the Apple Watch, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs. But, the story doesn’t end there. The company has been manufacturing products for other tech industry giants as well. These include Cisco, LG, Blackberry etc. Being a multi-billion dollar company, seeing their products, we can see a general code of quality is followed rigorously.

Now the question arises, why did Apple make this move. Well, to sum it up in an anticlimactic fashion, Apple wanted to cut costs. To further dig into this statement, currently only the Apple Mac Pro was being manufactured domestically. This meant, Apple had to deal with suppliers at a domestic level and rate. Now given that the average American Labour earns more, it would not take Masters Level economics to understand that the company cannot match the savings that would be available in a move to China. The factory with Quanta Computer would be working in is based in China, near Shanghai. This would ease many problems for the trillion dollar giant. It would also mean a lower cost to them. Considering this was the case, who knows how much Apple would have charged for the Mac Pro if they had been manufacturing it domestically.

Now, readers may be worried about the trade war and its importance when it comes to their future machines coming in from China. Well, currently most Apple products, if not all, are being finalized in China before being shipped to different parts of the world. According to a spokesman from Apple, the products are still designed and engineered by the tech giants in Cupertino. It’s just the final manufacturing process that is allotted to these Chinese manufacturers who follow a code of conduct and quality before delivering a final product. This is strictly based on the specs provided by Apple itself. Coming back to the trade war problem, since it is a Taiwanese company, they would have options to relocate their industries like Foxconn has, to India or other countries with cheap labor.

US China Trade War
The US-China Trade War has affected many companies and their globalized businesses

Other issues that may arise for some hardcore American Apple users would be the embodiment of the “Made in China” engraving on their device. While some people may have a hard time believing it, all fellow iPhone users can just turn their phones around and look for a similar footprint of the sticker. Not only that, MacBooks and Apple Watches are bearing it too. And yes, it is true that China manages to manufacture all kinds and levels of products, with different qualities but that does not mean that the Mac Pro, coming from China, would be any less than the one being manufactured in the US. In fact, with their expertise and economies of scale, they may even do a better job. If it is so hard to believe, one may even check out the curves on all the MacBooks which are so elegantly made but yet withstand everything like a tank.

Lastly, the Mac Pro is not a product that would be produced in very large numbers like the iPhone. With a limited target audience, the Mac Pro is quite expensive to manufacture, not taking full advantage of economies of scale. Perhaps they can save some costs by shifting it all to China though. Who knows, if they hadn’t, we’d be looking at a starting price of about $7999. It is Apple, after all, anything can happen.

Sarmad Burki
Sarmad Burki is a Mathematician and a Economist with a passion for all things gaming and tech. His academics and professional experience combined with tech and gaming adds to his skills giving him a unique ability to observe the tech and gaming industry from various prespectives.