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Apple starts selling USA-made Mac Pro

Apple Inc. was taking orders Thursday for the new Mac Pro personal computer, which is being built in Texas with components made domestically as part of chief executive Tim Cook's $100-million made-in-the-USA push.

"We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin," Cook wrote in a posting Wednesday on Twitter. "It's the most powerful Mac ever."

The cylindrical machine, which runs on Intel Corp.'s latest Xeon chip, has a starting price of $2,999, Apple said.

While companies such as Google Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. are doing some final assembly in the United States of parts made overseas, Cook said in an interview in October Apple is manufacturing -- not just putting together -- the Mac Pro's metal parts in the United States.

"The difference with us is that we're taking a bottoms-up approach," Cook said at the time. "We don't want to just assemble the Mac Pro here, we want to make the whole thing here." Apple's partners are using industrial molds and production processes that were developed in the United States, he said.

Cook's pledge to domesticate some production followed years of criticism from labor advocates about conditions at contractors' facilities in China, where most of Apple's products are built. Though Apple, the world's largest technology company, hasn't announced plans to make other products in the United States, recent investments suggest it may head in that direction, including a new plant in Mesa, Ariz.

The newest version of the Mac Pro, used by graphic designers and filmmakers who require the fastest performance, is going on sale at the height of the holiday shopping season. Customizable configurations can cost up to $3,999 depending on chip power and amount of memory.

The sleek, rounded black machine, which looks like a small jet engine, is 9.9 inches tall and is an eighth the size of the current Mac Pro, the company said.

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