The US tech giant has been in talks with Vietnam to manufacture more items, according to Japan’s Nikkei news agency
Apple is in talks to produce watches and MacBooks in Vietnam as it tries to diversify production away from China, Japan’s Nikkei news agency reported on Wednesday.
The company’s Chinese suppliers Luxshare Precision Industry and Taiwan-based iPhone assembler Foxconn have already started test production of the two products in Northern Vietnam, “people with direct knowledge of the matter”The agency was informed.
This would mark the first time Apple Watches or MacBooks were assembled in Vietnam. It has previously produced less-expensive goods, like iPads or AirPod earphones.
Apple moved some production to Vietnam after this year’s Covid-19 lockdowns in China’s largest city Shanghai led to disruptions in the supply chain, the sources said. Negotiations have also been underway to set up test lines for Apple’s HomePod smart speakers, they added.
According to sources, however, the progress of moving MacBook production from Vietnam to China has been slow than anticipated due to problems caused by the pandemic as well as the larger supply chain that is involved in producing the computer.
“AirPods, Apple Watch, HomePod and more… Apple has big plans in Vietnam, apart from iPhone manufacturing,”Source from an agency. “MacBooks are now more modularized, making it possible to manufacture them outside China. But how to make it cost-competitive is another challenge.”
Apple, who has depended nearly entirely on China to produce its products for years, decided to diversify after Donald Trump’s trade war against Beijing. In 2020, the first AirPods made in Vietnam were released.
It comes amid rising tensions between China and America, caused by Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, visiting Taiwanese self-governing island, Taiwan. Beijing views Taiwan as part its territory.
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Besides Vietnam, countries such as Mexico and India – where manufacturing of the iPhone 13 was launched this year – have become important production hubs for Apple outside of China.
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