Regardless, the U.S. manufacturing line is expected to represent just a tiny piece of Apple's overall production, with sales of iPhones and iPads now dwarfing those of its computers.
Cook said in his interview with NBC that companies like Apple chose to produce their products in places like China, not because of the lower costs associated with it, but because the manufacturing skills required just aren't present in the U.S. anymore.
He added that the consumer electronics world has never really had a big production presence in the U.S. As a result, it's really more about starting production in the U.S. than bringing it back, he said.
But for nearly three decades Apple made its computers in the U.S. It started outsourcing production in the mid-90s, first by selling some plants to contract manufacturers, then by hiring manufacturers overseas. It assembled iMacs in Elk Grove, Calif. until 2004.
The news comes a day after Apple posted its worst stock drop in four years, erasing $35 million in market capitalization. Apple's stock rose $8.15, or 1.5 percent, to $546.94 in Thursday afternoon trading.