Apple has reportedly asked Foxconn to shift some iPad and MacBook production from China to Vietnam. The move is said to be a precautionary measure designed to minimize any impact of ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, sources say.
Sanctions imposed on China by the U.S. could one day have a significant impact on the supply of Apple products. The COVID-19 pandemic has already given many companies a taste of the problems they face when they can no longer rely on China for production.
It makes perfect sense, then, for Apple to diversify its supply chain and shift some production to other countries. And that’s exactly what the company has been working toward for some time now. Its latest move, according to one report, is to set up new assembly lines in Vietnam.
Apple reduces its reliance on China
“Foxconn is building assembly lines for Apple’s iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at its plant in Vietnam’s northeastern Bac Giang province, to come online in the first half of 2021,” reads a Thursday report from Reuters, citing sources familiar with the plan.
“The lines will also take some production from China, the person said, without elaborating how much production would shift.” The move has been requested by Apple, which “wants to diversify production following the trade war,” the source added.
Apple already has some products, including AirPods and AirPods Pro, assembled in Vietnam. Recent reports suggested Cupertino also wants to start manufacturing iPhones there, though it is believed those plans are on hold until working conditions are improved at one facility.
Foxconn is just one Apple supplier with plans to expand production into Vietnam, with Compal Electronics and Pegatron — which are both involved in the manufacture of Mac and iOS devices — also expected to follow suit.