Apple speeds up output shift of iPhones and iPads in Vietnam
Apple is accelerating the production of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other products in India and Vietnam in an effort to diversify its supply chain outside of China.
According to the sources of Nikkei Asia Review, Apple will begin producing iPads in Vietnam as soon as the middle of this year. The tech giant is also stepping up iPhone production in India, its second-largest production base for the iconic device with plans to start producing the latest iPhone 12 series there as soon as this quarter.
Apple is also ramping up production capacity for smart speakers, earphones, and computers in Southeast Asia as part of its ongoing diversification strategy, the sources added.
In Vietnam, Apple is mobilising suppliers to expand the production of the latest HomePod mini, the affordable version of its voice-activated smart speaker lineup. The device has been produced in Vietnam since it was introduced last year. The Cupertino-based tech giant has already increased the local production of its audio-related products, including its various AirPods lineups, sources said.
Apple is also set to move part of its MacBook production to Vietnam this year while most of its computer production will remain in China.
Last week a unit of Foxconn known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, a key supplier of Apple, was granted an investment license to develop a $270 million factory to produce laptops and tablets. Located in the northern province of Bac Ninh, the factory will be developed by Fukang Technology with an annual output of 8 million units.
It is not clear what brands of laptops and tablets Foxconn will produce in Bac Ninh. However, the group is moving some iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China at the request of Apple, a person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters in November, as the firm diversifies production to minimise the impact of China-US trade tensions.
Another supplier Luxshare Precision Industry is stepping up its capacity in northern Vietnam for the HomePod mini to solve supply constraints for the popular device.
"Apple and many other tech companies all want out-of-China production capacities, and that has not slowed even though the US has a new president," one supply chain manager told Nikkei. "And they are studying not only peripheral products. Apple, for example, aims to build capacity in new locations -- mostly Southeast Asian 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." VIR/Nikkei