Working a company Apple is to intensify production of iPads, iPhones, Macs and other products outside China, indicating that the technology giant continues to accelerate diversification of production despite hopes of easing tensions between the United States and China under President (Joe Biden).
The sources said For a newspaper Nikkei Asian Review: iPad production starts in Vietnam in the middle of this year, the first time that the world’s largest tablet maker has built a large number of devices outside of China.
The California tech giant is also working to ramp up iPhone production in India, the device’s second-largest production base, with plans to start producing the latest iPhone 12 series there as soon as this quarter, the sources added.
Apple is also increasing the production capacity of smart speakers, headphones, and computers in Southeast Asia as part of its ongoing diversification strategy.
Apple is gathering suppliers in Vietnam to expand production capacity for the latest HomePod mini, and the device has been in production in Vietnam since its introduction last year, and Apple has increased domestic production of its audio products, including various AirPods lineups.
Apple has moved some Mac mini production to Malaysia, and a portion of MacBook production is also scheduled to be moved to Vietnam this year, and most of its PC production remains in China.
Apple and many other tech companies want production capacity outside of China, and that has not slowed down despite the presence of a new US president.
Apple aims to build capacity in new locations – mostly Southeast Asian countries – for many basic products, such as iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, AirPods, and others.
The tech giants are moving to reduce their dependence on China, as rising labor costs there, prolonged trade tensions with Washington, and supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus have raised the risks of being too dependent on one country.
Moreover, the US government has launched a supply chain restructuring campaign, urging technology suppliers to move away from China, which remains a major industrial hub for major tech companies, and boasts the most advanced and comprehensive supply chain in the world.
And Apple’s decision to move such a wide range of products outside the country indicates that the problems between the two countries are likely to continue into 2021.
China’s Goertek, a major assembly company for AirPods, asked all of its suppliers to assess the feasibility of moving production to Vietnam in late 2018, and was the first Apple supplier to confirm a plan to move production.
In 2019, Apple asked several suppliers to study the cost implications of moving between 15 and 30 percent of production outside China for a wide range of product lines.
The AirPods series went into trial for the first time in Vietnam in the summer of 2019, with mass production in 2020.
Part of the production of AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and HomePod mini was also allocated to Vietnam last year, and Apple began making iPhone 11 in India in 2020.