Apple’s long-time iPhone assembly partner, Foxconn, could publicly announce its plans to develop two new U.S.-based manufacturing facilities at an exclusive event in Washington D.C. later this week, according to a report published Monday by The Wall Street Journal. The news comes just days after President Donald Trump wrapped up the nation’s first “Made in America” week, during which a wide-range of products produced in each of all 50 U.S. states were showcased in and around The White House.
Citing sources familiar with the company’s imminent plans, The Wall Street Journal report indicated that Foxconn’s chairman, Terry Gou, could be heading to Washington sometime within the next few days, where it’s expected that he will announce his firm’s official investment plans for manufacturing in the U.S. The report alleges that Gou will likely announce plans for the development of two major factories: one in Detroit, Michigan, and another in Wisconsin, whereat the technology-giant will develop a range of products that may or may not directly relate to Apple.
Foxconn’s proposed factory in Wisconsin, for example, will likely not have any significant ties to Apple — and has in the past been rumored to serve as a facility where the company will exclusively develop larger display panels for flat-screen televisions. Foxconn’s proposed factory in Detroit, on the other hand, could potentially involve Apple and the manufacturing of key components for everything from iPhone, to iPad, and even Mac computers — however, that is yet to be confirmed.
Gou first met with President Trump earlier this year, when the two reportedly discussed a wide-range of topics including job creation, the sale of Toshiba’s memory chip business, and more. Gou went on to indicate that his company is planning “a number of investments” in the U.S. And so, if true, the WSJ report’s claims would be the first indicating that the Taipei, Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group is getting serious about moving forward with its plans.
Although Apple’s supply chain is composed of hundreds of individual component suppliers, most of which are based in the Far East, Foxconn is arguably the largest player of them all, and has been responsible for handling the bulk of iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer assembly for the last several years.
Apple earlier this year announced plans to invest as much as $1 billion of its cash reserves in a variety of U.S.-based manufacturing projects — the first of which was announced back in May, when the iPhone-maker christened Corning — the Kentucky-based makers of Gorilla Glass — as the first recipient of $200 million for the development of a next-generation glass manufacturing plant in the Bluegrass State.