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Apple assembling some computers in Texas

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Tim Culpan and Adam Satariano (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. TAIPEI, Taiwan — Apple added Flextronics International as an assembler of Mac computers last year as Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook pushes forward with plans to have more of the company’s devices made in the United States.

Flextronics assembled Macs in Austin, Texas, last year, Apple said in its annual supplier report published Thursday. Foxconn Technology remains the largest manufacturer of Apple products, with seven assembly locations in China and Brazil, according to the list published on Apple’s website.

Cook said in a December 2012 interview that Apple would invest more than $100 million last year to boost manufacturing in the U.S. Flextronics, with headquarters in California and Singapore, joins Quanta Computer as Asia-based companies supplying to Apple from some of 60 facilities in the U.S.

Taiwan-based Quanta already makes some Macs in California. In November, Apple announced it would pay $578 million to GT Advanced Technologies Inc. to supply equipment for an advanced glass factory to be opened in Mesa, Ariz.

The U.S. is the third-biggest hub in Apple’s supply chain, while China remains the largest with 349 locations providing parts or manufacturing to the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Japan’s 139, Taiwan’s 42 and South Korea’s 32 facilities make Asia the center of a global supply chain that includes Mexico, Brazil, France and Germany, according to the report.

Flextronics manufactures components and electronics used in avionics, flight controls, medical equipment and wearable devices. Valerie Kurniawan, a Singapore-based spokeswoman for Flextronics, didn’t answer calls to her office and mobile phones Thursday.

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report, first released in 2007, outlines the company’s labor and environmental standards and tracks how well its suppliers meet those rules, without naming which companies violated its code of conduct.

The iPhone maker started naming its suppliers in 2012 and listing assembly locations last year as it seeks to boost transparency among the companies that provide raw materials, electronic components, packaging and final products.

Panasonic, the Osaka, Japan-based electronics maker, has more facilities supplying Apple than any other company, providing components from 31 locations. Hon Hai Precision Industry, the largest unit of Taipei-based Foxconn, has 29 locations in China, Brazil and Vietnam.

Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, provided products from 14 places, including the U.S., Costa Rica, China, Vietnam, Israel and Ireland.

While the supply of parts spans the globe, assembly of its two biggest products remains limited to two manufacturers. Foxconn and Taipei-based Pegatron are the only companies making iPhones and iPads, using seven locations in China and Brazil.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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