Digitimes: AirPods 3 production moved to China because of Vietnam COVID-19 surge

Airpods 3 Leak
Airpods 3 Leak (Image credit: Gizmochina)

What you need to know

  • Apple is expected to debut new AirPods later this year.
  • A new report says that the assembly of the new TWS headphones has been moved to China.
  • That's because suppliers in Vietnam are being impacted by a surge in COVID-19 cases.

A new report from within Apple's supply chain says that the assembly of the company's next-generation AirPods has been moved from Vietnam to China because of a surge in COVID cases.

A paywalled Digitimes report states:

New-gen AirPods assembly to move to ChinaLuxshare Precision Industry and Goertek, reportedly assemblers for the new-generation AirPods, have seen their factory sites in Vietnam affected by a resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak locally

The news comes just a few days after it was reported that a new wave of the virus was forcing Apple suppliers like the aforementioned Goertek to let employees sleep at factories to avoid spreading the disease. From Tuesday:

Apple supplier GoerTek is one of many companies dealing with a new deadly outbreak of COVID-19 by either having their employees sleep at factories, or by bussing them home to avoid any potential infection while making their own way.With Vietnam suffering from a new wave of COVID-19, Nikkei reports that multiple companies are working on putting their teams into bubbles to try and avoid cross-contamination from other teams and the outside world.

A similar report earlier this month stated that employees were sleeping in tents on factory floors to stop the spread of the disease, however, this most recent Digitimes report indicates it might not have been enough to stem the tide, with the outlet now reporting that AirPods 3 will be assembled in China.

The outlet reported earlier today that we might get an AirPods announcement at the iPhone 13 event, expected to be held in September, with Apple target a release window close to that time.

Apple's new AirPods could feature a slightly altered design that will make them look more like its AirPods Pro. If you can't wait that long then be sure to check out the best AirPods deals currently available.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9