Computers

Report: Apple plans to move Mac Pro production from U.S. to China

Apple's Mac Pro desktop
Photo: Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP/Getty Images

Apple is moving the production of its Mac Pro desktop from the U.S. to China even as trade tensions grow between the 2 countries, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into manufacturing the computer in the U.S., and that money will now be going to China, says the WSJ. An Apple spokesperson told the WSJ that all products are still designed and engineered in the U.S., and some components are U.S.-made.

The big picture: The WSJ reports that although the Mac Pro isn't one of Apple's biggest products, the decision has outsized importance. Its dependence on Chinese manufacturers has become a sore point with President Trump as his trade war with China continues. Trump's tariff threats against China could raise the cost of Apple's products, such as the iPhone.

  • Apple invested $100 million in Austin, Texas, in 2013 to manufacture the computer following backlash over outsourcing to China, per WSJ.
  • Within the last 2 years, Apple announced a second campus in Austin for customer support and operations, but not plans for new manufacturing plants in the U.S.

Details: WSJ says shipping costs will be lower for Apple because of the proximity of the Apple facility in Shanghai to their other suppliers in Asia.

Go deeper: Apple's Tim Cook meets with Trump as tariffs loom

U.S. takes on China with new supercomputer

AMD chipmaker
Photo: AMD

Chipmaker AMD, long in Intel's shadow, will be at the heart of one of the world's most powerful new supercomputers, a new Cray machine being built for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Why it matters: Though such large-scale computers represent a tiny fraction of the market, they still power advanced basic research — and confer bragging rights on those institutions, companies and, increasingly, nations whose devices top the annual rankings.