President Trump is gone, and a serious politician moved into the White House yesterday. In one of the last documents of the unfortunate US government period from 2017 to January 2021, Trump has disclosed the gifts he received as a public official.
One of the more surprising entries on the list indicates that in 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook personally presented him with a Mac Pro. This apparently happened on the occasion of a presidential visit to Apple’s factory in Austin, where the company assembles the latest version of the
For much of his term in office Trump was obsessed with the idea of persuading Apple to bring its manufacturing supply chain from Asia
back to the US (“We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries,” he
said in 2017), and around the time of this visit was keen to emphasise that this device at least was assembled on home soil.
(Indeed he implied that the factory had been recently rebuilt for this purpose, and suggested that his urgings had been instrumental in the decision. Yet Apple pointed out that previous versions of the Mac Pro has been made there since 2013.)
The Mac Pro is a premium product with an eye-watering price tag but it has some of the lowest unit sales in Apple’s portfolio; a far more consequential move would be for the company to relocate iPhone production to the US, but in practical and financial terms this currently seems like an impossibility.
Even in his final financial disclosure, Trump retains his long-distance relationship with the truth. The gift is listed as “Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas” with a value of $5,999. The number may be correct (assuming Cook
did not include a monitor or wheels), but at best this would be the first 2019 Mac Pro to roll off the production line at Austin.
Cook and Trump had a publicly polite but sometimes strained relationship. Early indications suggest that Apple’s CEO has rather
more in common with Joe Biden.
This article originally appeared on
Macwelt. Translation by David Price.