What you need to know
- Apple is continuing to ramp up production in both India and China, as it continues to diversify from China.
A new report says that Apple is continuing its manufacturing drive outside of China, ramping up production in both India and Vietnam.
From Nikkei Asia:
Apple is ramping up the production of iPhones, iPads, Macs and other products outside of China, Nikkei Asia has learned, in a sign that the tech giant is continuing to accelerate its production diversification despite hopes that U.S.-China tensions will ease under President Joe Biden.
Sources said iPad production will begin in Vietnam as early as the middle of this year, marking the first time that the world's biggest tablet maker will build a significant number of the devices outside of China. The California tech giant is also stepping up iPhone production in India, its second-largest production base for the iconic device, sources added, with plans to start producing the latest iPhone 12 series -- the company's first 5G smartphones -- there as soon as this quarter. Apple is reportedly also increasing production of its HomePod models, AirPods, and Mac computers in Southeast Asia.
For example, Apple is reportedly mobilizing more suppliers for its HomePod mini in Vietnam, which has been made there since its release last year. Some Mac mini production has been relocated to Malaysia, and MacBook production in part is also headed to Vietnam later this year.
One supply chain manager stated:
"Apple and many other tech companies all want out-of-China production capacities, and that has not slowed even though the U.S. has a new president. And they are studying not only peripheral products. Apple, for example, aims to build capacity in new locations -- mostly Southeast Asia nations -- for multiple core products, such as iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, AirPods and others. It was hard to imagine that two years ago, but now, nothing is impossible to shift."
As the report notes, several factors beyond the pandemic, including rising labor costs and trade tensions with Washington are driving the need for many vendors including Apple to diversify. One Apple supplier, Goertek, which assembles AirPods reportedly asked all of its suppliers how feasible moving production to Vietnam would be back in 2018.