25 Years ago today I sat in the audience in the Hilton Hotel (or was it the Marriot?) in Manhatton.
IBM revealed the new IBM AS/400 ("Application System 400") and begin the first and only marketing efforts for the platform. While the system wasn't really anything new--the System/38 had the CPF operating system and was identical to AS/400 except AS/400 included S36E--System/36 mode--it did provide an advancement in hardware (DASD, memory) and at a much lower cost. Although it too was the start of the shut-down of American Manufacturing (IBM closed its Tucson, AZ plant after they failed to produce a working AS/400 tape device) IBM continued to build AS/400 and its follow-on products, in Rochester MN for more than 2 decades to follow.
2013 may be the 25th Anniversary of IBM i AS/400 or whatever you want to call it, but, it may also be the final year IBM manufactures the physical system in the United States. They've already moved a large portion of their software development to China. For example, most of the CL development is now in Bejing. Apparently IBM thinks it can fool its customers with "Designed by IBM in North America" as Apple fools its customers with "Designed by Apple in California". (Just marketing hype for "Made in China" sold to unemployed U.S. citizens)
So while I recently purchased a brand new IBM i-based Power7+ model 720 (or is it model E4D?) it is made in Rochester MN, but it may be among the final batch of systems created in the United States. "This 25 year marriage is over" I'm afraid.