Apple is seemingly having a supplier shakeup to kickstart the 2020s — with Cupertino shifting production for some of its biggest products to other manufacturers. Including adding another supplier for its ultra-popular AirPods Pro.
According to longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi, Apple will be making changes to the suppliers of the AirPods Pro, the S-series chips for the next-gen Apple Watch, the iPod touch and the non-cellular iPad.
To start with, Kuo thinks that Chinese company Goertek will begin assembling AirPods Pro in the first half of 2020. Currently the AirPods Pro are assembled by Luxshare Precision. Luxshare — which became Asia’s top-performing stock of 2019 on the back of the AirPods — won’t be kicked to the curb, however. Goertek will be a second supplier to help speed up production.
That makes a lot of sense. The insanely popular AirPods are one of Apple’s biggest hits right now. Recently, Citi analyst Jim Suva said that Apple was struggling to meet demand for the hearables. And it’s “not due to manufacturing issues.” The arrival of Goertek is no great shock. The company has been upgrading its facilities to try and win Apple business. Its stock price had climbed 184% in 2019 on the possibility of getting a piece of the AirPods business.
Luxshare, meanwhile, is replacing Quanta Computer as the exclusive manufacturer for the S-series chips for the next-gen Apple Watch. A previous report claimed that Quanta was getting out of Apple Watch due to profit concerns.
Finally, BYD Electronic is replacing Quanta as the sole assembler of the iPod touch. It will also get up to 20% of non-cellular iPad orders. These could increase if things go well.