Hoping to achieve what even Steve Jobs once considered the impossible, the largest company in American history will attempt to actually make a major product in America, says Apple CEO Tim Cook in a new interview. Apple plans to build a line of Macs at an as-yet-undisclosed site next year, Cook tells NBC's Brian Williams in an episode of Rock Center to air Thursday night, although it sounds like more of a trial run than something permanent: Cook reiterated the point Jobs made to President Obama before his death — that America still doesn't have the manufacturing skills to compete as efficiently as possible. "This is a really good 'nother step for us," Cook said, which makes you wonder if other Apple products will necessarily follow. In fact, those Macs might not be totally made in America. "Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac," Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Tyrangial in another new interview. (Emphasis ours.) It only takes a certain percentage of American-made parts to get that stamp of homemade approval, as we learned from the "Made in America"-ish Google Nexus Q.
What's more, it doesn't sound like Cook or Apple will abandon those controversial Foxconn factories where iGadgets get assembled anytime soon. Apple has invested a lot of time and resources in making the process more transparent and better for workers, a PR move that Cook talked up with Tyrangial. Apple executives have even spent time sleeping in the crowded dorm rooms. He owed the speediness of the company's innovation to the relationship between Foxconn and Apple. There's much more about the future of Apple in the NBC interview as well. Here's the whole thing: