FORTUNE -- Tim Cook drops a bombshell in his interview with Brian Williams scheduled to air Thursday evening: Apple (AAPL) next year will begin manufacturing one of its existing Mac lines exclusively in the U.S.
The news came in a NBC release posted early Thursday morning. "We've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States," Cook tells Williams in a Rock Center broadcast scheduled for 10 p.m. Eastern. The NBC video.
Apple shipped the vast majority of its manufacturing to China shortly after Cook joined Apple from Compaq. He didn't specify which line of Macs would be made in the U.S., but reports last week that some of the new 21-inch iMacs come with "Assembled in the USA" labels on them is strongly suggestive. (Note, however, that soldering in a few parts in an iMac is not the same as building an entirely new manufacturing plant.)
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek released the same morning, Cook offers a bit more detail. He tells editor Josh Tyrangiel that the company plans to spend more than $100 million next year to shift assembly from Foxconn's Chinese plants to facilities in the U.S.
"We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial."
"This doesn't mean that Apple will do it ourselves," he says, "but we'll be working with people and we'll be investing our money."
"I don't think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job," Cook adds. "But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs."
Although nearly every U.S. electronics company relies on Foxconn to assemble its products, it's Apple that usually takes the heat in press stories about the practice. The New York Times has been particularly critical of Apple both for shipping American jobs overseas and for turning a blind eye on working conditions in those overseas plants.
The Times was not included in what was, with the simultaneous release of the NBC and Businessweek interviews, a PR assault worthy of a Steve Jobs product reveal -- an assault that was not without its Jobsian exaggerations. For example, Cook tells NBC's Williams that the glass and the "engine" (i.e. the A6 processor) in the iPhone are made in the U.S. and shipped abroad, leaving the impression that Apple makes those two parts. In fact, Corning (GLW) makes the glass and Samsung, a Korean company, manufactures the processor, albeit to Apple's specs.
Moreover, a U.S.-based Mac manufacturing plant might not create as many jobs as you'd expect. Lenovo announced last month that it was opening up a production line outside Greensboro, NC, and would begin turning out everything from tablets to engineering workstations next year. Total number of new manufacturing jobs for North Carolina residents: 115.
MORE FROM FORTUNE:
There's no question that this is one of the best desktops the company has ever shipped.
WATCH: Reviewer JP Mangalindan answers reader questions about the new iMac.
FORTUNE -- Just how thin can a computer get? Arguably not much more than Apple's new iMac. It is incredibly slim.
When Apple (APPL) took the wraps off the new desktop, many thought the iMac a two-dimensional mock-up -- not a real product. But real it is. MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 4, 2012 9:58 AM ET
Probably not, although some come with labels that suggest they are
FORTUNE -- A reader -- let's call him Aaron Gong -- wrote Saturday to say that he bought a new 21-inch iMac at an Apple Store in San Jose, Calif., and was surprised when he opened the box to see it marked "Assembled in USA" rather than in China, as we've all come to expect.
I checked with a neighbor who MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 1, 2012 3:51 PM ET
The delay of a machine that was unveiled 38 days earlier has already cost Apple sales
FORTUNE -- When the "stunning," "brilliant," "all-new" iMacs were introduced at the iPad mini event on Oct. 23, Apple's hyperbolic press release promised delivery of the 21-inch model in November and the 27-inch version in December.
On Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) announced that the 21-inch model will be available for sale on Friday Nov. 30, the possible last MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 27, 2012 11:25 AM ET
Also: first impressions of the new iMac and MacBook.
FORTUNE -- For the first time in years, Apple (AAPL) held a product unveiling at San Jose's California Theatre and, as many predicted, the company delivered. It unveiled a 7.9-inch version of the iPad, dubbed the iPad mini. Also on display: a 13-inch MacBook with a high-resolution Retina Display, redesigned iMac, faster 9.7-inch-sized iPad, and updated Mac minis.
I managed to spend some MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Oct 23, 2012 4:07 PM ET
Biggest savings on Macs. Best deals on accessories. But beware the malware.
Apple (AAPL) posted its Black Friday sale prices at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time Friday and they were exactly as rumored.
The savings on Apple-branded products range from a high of 15.94% on $69 accessories like the Magic Trackpad to 7.02% -- less than the sales tax in 25 states -- on the $299 Time Capsule 2TB.
A guide to the best deals:
WARNING: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2011 6:30 AM ET
Intel is prodding PC manufacturers to make better ultra-thin and light laptops like Apple's MacBook Air. But the concept faces strong headwinds -- and tough competition.
FORTUNE -- When Apple launched the MacBook Air, it got flack: not fast enough, not enough ports, too pricey, the optional external optical disc drive had as much portable appeal as a brick. Fast-forward three years, and the current version of the Air has become MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 12, 2011 12:13 PM ET
FORTUNE -- When Steve Jobs stepped down in August as Apple's CEO for health reasons, it got us thinking about the arc of his spectacular career. His product presentations became rock star events that continually disrupted the industry. --Anne VanderMey
Here are a few of our favorite facts about Steve.
1.7 MB: The memory of Apple's Lisa in 1983 -- enough for one or two photos. The PC's price tag? $10,000. MORESep 9, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Shipments are reported to be approaching 3-4 million/month as production constraints ease
Following a mid second-quarter check with his sources in Apple's (AAPL) supply chain, Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu raised his unit sales estimates Friday as well as his price target: to $460 to $445. The stock, which has been impervious to the enthusiasms of sell-side analysts lately, closed Thursday at $340.53.
Among the highlights of the new report:
The production problems that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 20, 2011 8:27 AM ET
The release announcing the latest version of a 13-year-old product is a model of overstatement
If you want to know about the new iMacs Apple (AAPL) released Tuesday, the best place to get the low-down is from Apple's own spec sheet here.
If you want to see how Apple sells the story to tech writers, the press release is here. To spare you the trouble, we've totted up the adjectives and adjectival MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 3, 2011 11:25 AM ET
|Insanely durable smartphone ... from Caterpillar?|
|Stocks slip as Fed sends mixed message|
|New Jersey's "Operation Swill" cracks down on alleged liquor substitution|
|Auto plants skipping summer shutdowns|
|How police can find your deleted text messages|