Having moved its manufacturing to China across the past decade, the recent discovery that at least some of Apple's new, ultrathin iMacs are being assembled in the USA is an interesting one. Reports from TechCrunch and 9to5Mac source the discovery to the standard FCC / serial code / point of origin stamp found on the new iMacs, just below the stand (the two models we have, a 21-inch and a 27-inch, were both assembled in China). The stamp uses the same hyper-specific verbiage that Apple uses on its other products, noting that the new iMac is "Designed in California," and "assembled" in the USA -- "assembled" meaning that the device still sources some foreign-made parts during assembly. The US Federal Trade Commission requires products carrying an "Assembled in USA" moniker to be "substantially transformed" by the manufacturing process, and can only employ a percentage of foreign materials to the creation of said product. In so many words, many more criteria than geographic location determines the validity of an "Assembled in USA" claim. The Google Nexus Q touted the same point of origin for design and manufacturing, endearing good will on Google in the company's largest market.
It's unclear if Apple's reviving its Elk Grove, CA. manufacturing plant, or working with a third-party, or a whole variety of other options, though reports of a hiring increase at the Elk Grove location are not tied directly to manufacturing gigs. We've reached out to Apple for more info on the change. Now, if you'll excuse us, we'll be listening to a ton of Bruce Springsteen.