But when Apple began making the $3,000 computer in Austin, Tex., it struggled to find enough screws, according to three people who worked on the project and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements.
In China, Apple relied on factories that can produce vast quantities of custom screws on short notice. In Texas, where they say everything is bigger, it turned out the screw suppliers were not.
Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce at most 1,000 screws a day.
Manufacturing at the kinds of scales Apple operates at is infinitely more complex than most people seem to think. It’s easy for a president to spout some rambling nonsense about building iPhones in the US to get people riled up, but if you can’t even produce enough screws for a low-volume product like the Mac Pro, you really have no business in the production of technology products.