Apple sought to counter a report it will likely not move iPhone assembly to the US by highlighting its support for domestic manufacturers, revealing it spent $60 billion with 9,000 local component suppliers in 2018.
The company said its financial outlay was up 10 per cent over 2017 and the amount spent in 2018 was around $5 billion more than it forecast it would spend on domestic procurement during the year.
It added spending with US companies including Broadcom, Corning, Cincinnati Test Systems, Finisar, Qorvo and Skyworks helped support more than 450,000 jobs in the US.
All told, Apple said it now directly and indirectly supports 2 million workers in the US, up from 600,000 in 2011.
The announcement came shortly after The New York Times reported a lack of necessary manufacturing infrastructure and cheap labour would likely prevent the company from bringing iPhone assembly back to the US from China, even as it faces the threat of tariffs from a trade battle between the two countries.
Though Apple in recent months faced pressure from US President Donald Trump to move production home, the newspaper stated the company is instead looking into options in India and Vietnam.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly battled assertions the company doesn’t support domestic manufacturers, arguing that while its devices are assembled in China many of their components are US-made.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back