Laura June is right on the money with her piece on Google’s recently U.S. made Nexus Q.
The second question is “why this product?” The Nexus Q seems like a product Google may not sell that many of — it fulfills a very limited and specific function, so by one perspective, the huge step of making a product in the USA is being wasted on niche goods. It actually seems likely, however, that the experimental, niche nature of the product, with its companion expectation of much lower sales than say, a smartphone, lowers the bar just far enough that the company was willing to take a chance and see what happens.
This echoes Tim Cook’s argument that Chinese manufacturing is not as much about labor costs as it is about scale.
I really like what Google is doing here and hope this is an honest experiment to test the waters of U.S. manufacturing. My concern however, is this is just some marketing trick to capitalize Apple’s bad press and provide false hope in a bum economy.