Ever wondered what cell phones are actually made in American? In recent times, there's been a growing trend for wanting to buy local. That makes perfect sense when it comes to local produce and food or even furniture, but the issue can get a lot murkier when you're picking out the best smartphones for your household. If you've been wondering what cell phones are made in the USA, well, the answer is simple. These days, barely any cell phones are actually manufactured in the USA. Instead, almost all phone manufacturing is now conducted offshore.
However, there are still many American brands that develop the cell phone you may end up buying, even if it's not actually made from scratch in the USA any more. Confused? We're here to help you understand the differences and what it might mean for you depending on your reasons for buying local. Most of these models are stocked by the best cell phone providers, and regardless of where your handset is made, it should work on US networks.
Which cell phone manufacturers are based in the USA?
While very few cell phones are actually made in the USA any more, some key firms are still considered to be American due to their origins. These include all Apple iPhones as well as the Google Pixel range of cell phones. That's because both Apple and Google were established in the USA and continue to be an American success story.
In the past, there were manufacturers such as Palm, HP, Compaq, and Dell, but the focus for these companies have shifted away from cell phone development with the majority switching to the home computer market.
Are ANY cell phones made in the USA?
If you're not too interested in the latest and greatest phone, there is one smartphone manufacturer that may appeal to you. American tech company, Librem produces its privacy-focused Linux smartphone, Librem 5, in the USA. It states that 'all the electronics will be made in our USA facility, and the entire phone will be assembled in the US' making it the only American phone manufacturer out there right now.
In part, this is likely to be because it's a smartphone that promises to not track or mine your personal data for sale or for advertising purposes in any way. Being manufactured 'locally' means that consumer confidence can be high with such features. The Librem 5 also has hardware kill switches so you can shut down WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular signal, as well as your microphone or camera, in a permanent manner. It's a specialized smartphone that won't suit everyone but if you're desperate to have a phone that was entirely made in the USA, this is the only option right now. Just don't expect style or the latest features.
In the past, Motorola was one of the few companies that still made cell phones in the USA with the Moto X developed in the country. In 2014 however, Motorola announced plans to shut down its Mobility Factory in Fort Worth, Texas. It moved its production to China and Brazil, ending its 100% USA connections.
Does Apple or Google make phones in the USA?
No. While Apple is considered one of the biggest cell phone manufacturers in the USA, its phones are actually assembled and manufactured in other countries. That's the same story for Google which is an American-based company but one that outsources its manufacturing.
If you've been searching online for a cell phone manufactured in the USA, you may have come across BLU Products. The American company was founded by Samuel Ohev-Zion and was one of the first Latin-owned mobile phone manufacturers aimed at a Latin population.
Its products are present throughout the United States, Latin America, Central America, and all of the Caribbean. Despite that, its phones are predominantly manufactured in Asia but the development of such phones is fundamentally American in nature.
Does it matter if my cell phone is manufactured elsewhere?
Ultimately, not really. Any cell phone you buy from a reputable source in the US will have been manufactured with the country in mind. That means you'll still enjoy a full warranty, parts that are designed with USA standards in mind, along with English language options.
The only real difference is that you'll know the phone has been shipped thousands of miles beforehand. If you're concerned about the ethics and ecological implications of such mileage, this may be a problem but, unfortunately, if you want a new smartphone, it's pretty much your only option at this time.
If your worries are more to do with safety, don't be concerned. Your cell phone will have been developed with safety in mind and providing you're buying an official device (and an official charger if one is needed separately), there's absolutely no danger in buying a product manufactured elsewhere.