Apple is making big changes to its MacBook production
Apple is trying to avoid a repeat of recent disruption.
A new report says that Apple is expected to diversify its MacBook supply chain and production in China to try and avoid a repeat of the severe disruption it suffered in the second quarter.
A new report from Digitimes Wednesday from Digitimes Research senior analyst Jim Hsiao says that because of COVID lockdowns in China's eastern cities earlier this year, Apple's shipments of the MacBook in Q2 were "severely disrupted."
Notably, this is because Quanta Computer makes around 60% of all Apple's best MacBooks at one plant in Shanghai which was one of the cities hit by strict COVID lockdown measures.
Diversifying the Mac
According to Hsiao, Quanta makes Apple's MacBook Pro (2021), as well as the 13-inch 2022 MacBook Pro and the new M2 MacBook Air. The report says that while 60% of MacBook production goes through Quanta and Shanghai, the remaining 40% goes through a single Foxconn plant in Chengdu, western China, where the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and the M1 MacBook Air are made.
The report states that "the proportion of orders given to Foxconn had slightly increased as MacBook shipments from Quanta's plant in Shanghai were seriously undermined by the COVID-19 lockdowns in the second quarter."
Specifically, going forward Apple is expected to "gradually shift orders for the 13.3-inch MacBook Air" away from Quanta and Foxconn to Wingtech and its plant in Kunming, southwestern China. Apple will reportedly source 5% of its MacBooks from Wingtech in 2022 and 10% next year. The report further states that moving some production beyond China is also "a key business strategy for Apple", with Foxconn expected to offshore some MacBook production to plants in Vietnam, where it may also make iPads in the future.
For us customers, this is great news because it means Apple's supply chain will be less vulnerable to disruption, making MacBooks more readily available for purchase especially when new models are launched. It's possible in the fall that Apple could roll out new MacBooks such as an M2 version of its 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
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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