As US President Donald Trump pushes hard for goods to be "made in America," how realistic is it to expect Apple to stop manufacturing its iconic devices in China?
The freshly installed president vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.
Yet, as other big companies have sought to appease the new administration with promises of jobs or investments in the United States, Apple has stayed low-profile.
Major Apple contractor Foxconn this month confirmed that it is considering a $7 billion investment to make flat panels in the US in a joint project with Japan's SoftBank.
"I have discussed with my major clients about going to (the US) and they are also willing to invest, including Apple," Foxconn founder Terry Gou told reporters in Taipei.
Taiwan-based Foxconn has given no details, and Apple declined to comment.
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry believed that moving manufacturing to the US, where many customers are, was more of a commonsense move than a political one.
"You need to manufacture local products in local markets," Chowdhry reasoned.
Making things locally gives better control of distribution networks and lets manufacturers customize goods for local markets, the analyst noted.
Breaking the US technology star's successful business model should be out of the question for the Trump administration, and there is likely to be a compromise such as "financial incentives," according to Ovum analyst de Renesse.
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