By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 8, 2012

FORTUNE — When Tim Cook announced Thursday that Apple (AAPL) would be investing $100 million to build one of its Mac line of computers exclusively in the U.S. next year, he didn’t say which line that was. But he really didn’t have to. There’s only one Mac that fits the bill, and that’s the Mac Pro. Here’s why:

  • A $100 million factory, Dan Luria, a labor economist atĀ Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center told Bloomberg, employs about 200 people and produces about 1 million units per year
  • Last year, Apple sold 18 million Macs, including 13.5 million MacBooks and 4.6 million desktops (iMacs, minis and Mac Pros). Only the Mac Pro and mini sell fewer than 1 million per year, and the Mac Pro is considerably heavier and more expensive to ship
  • Apple, through a spokesperson and through Tim Cook himself, has already indicated that it will be producing a new Mac Pro in 2013
  • Any extra labor costs associated with manufacturing in the U.S. can be more easily absorbed by a $2,500-$3,800 Mac Pro than by a MacBook orĀ an iMac that sell for $1,000 to $1,300.
  • Mac Pros are easier to build and customize than any other Apple product

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