Apple doubled its U.S. manufacturing operations between 2020 and 2021, according to the company's latest supplier list.But most of these are small-scale trials for testing purposes。
It is reported,The number of Apple suppliers' factories in the United States has grown from 25 to 48 in a year. Of Apple's more than 180 suppliers, 48 had factories in the U.S. as of September 2021, up from 25 a year earlier, according to a list of suppliers released by Apple. More than 30 of them are in California, up from fewer than 10 a year ago.
Most of Apple's products are made and assembled in Chinese factories,Its only product assembled in the U.S. is the Mac Pro. Apple stressed that the Mac Pro uses components from 12 suppliers across eight states.
Many of Apple's major suppliers, including chipmakers Qualcomm and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, product assembler Foxconn and image sensor supplier SONY, have added factories in the United States in the last year, according to Apple's latest supplier list.
It's important to note that Apple's so-called "manufacturing operations" also include small-scale pilot production. While Apple is tight-lipped about how it makes its products, most U.S. factories are likely to do small-scale pilot production. There are mainly the following stages:
A prototype is an early model used to test different aspects of a new product, usually divided into a design prototype and a functional prototype.
A design prototype is a non-functional model that helps product developers understand the look and feel of a particular design. Functional prototypes are used to implement technical features of the product, but may look completely different from the final product.
Apple mainly builds prototypes in its own design studio, including computer-controlled milling of aluminum alloys and 3D printing.
During the engineering validation phase, Apple combines design and functional prototypes to produce a device that uses the intended materials and looks and works much like the final product.
The purpose of engineering validation testing is to ensure that it is practical to produce the product as intended and to address any production challenges that may exist.
Apple typically produces 100 to 1,000 devices during engineering validation testing, some of which are likely to be made in U.S. factories.
The design verification test phase produces products using the exact processes used in the final production line, which are involved in each model. Apple typically produces a few thousand units during the design validation testing phase, which is likely to be done by both Chinese and American factories.
Production verification testing is the final testing phase that is performed on the actual production line to ensure that product quality, volume, time and cost are as expected. Apple's production verification tests are all done at the factory where its products are made.
Typically, Apple sends its own engineers to oversee product preproduction. In the last two years, Apple has developed new remote workflows that use technologies, including live-streaming, to help employees at Apple's headquarters remotely track production at its product factories, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is known to use ipads to communicate and augmented reality tools to help technical experts at the company's headquarters check for production problems at its factories. Factory managers will be given more decision-making power, but the final say will remain at Apple's headquarters.