Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Adam Minter

An American-Made iPhone? Not Happening.

Why Trump is wrong to pressure Apple to move its factories back home.
Don't ruin a good thing.

Don't ruin a good thing.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Few people took Donald Trump seriously when he said in March that he'd "get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China." But his election appears to have caused a change of heart. Apple has reportedly asked the two Asian companies that assemble the bulk of its iPhones to assess whether they can bring the work to the U.S. One of them, Foxconn, has agreed to look into the matter.

Trump's supporters have embraced this news as a sign of his power to persuade wayward corporations to make America great again. But as Apple and its manufacturing partners know, and as President Trump will soon find out, it'll never happen. The U.S. lacks the workforce and supply chains necessary for Apple to move its iPhone operation back home. And more to the point, Americans shouldn't want it to.