Apple expanding iPhone, iPad, Mac manufacturing outside China

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Tim Cook meeting a worker on the iPhone production line.
Photo: Apple

For years, China has been Apple’s biggest manufacturing hub for building its devices. But that’s now changing, with a report Wednesday claiming that Apple is “ramping up” production of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other products in other parts of the world.

This is an attempt by Apple to diversify manufacturing beyond China, following trade tensions between the U.S. and China in recent years.

Updated classic AirPods delay expected into new year, but with ‘Made in Vietnam’ tag

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Keep AirPods Pro noise cancellation switched on -- permanently.
Your next classic AirPods could be made in Vietnam.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The coronavirus and its aftermath appear to be taking a toll on manufacturing of updated AirPods, with a new report indicating an update to Apple’s popular earbuds will be delayed slightly and roll into the first quarter of 2021.

The Nikkei Asian Review also reported Friday sources as saying around 30% of all classic AirPods to be produced this quarter for Apple will be “made in Vietnam”. That the report said is “a sign the company is accelerating its diversification of production out of China amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Apple adds third company to exclusive list of iPhone manufacturers

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iPhone XS Max
Foxconn doesn’t assemble every iPhone. And soon there’ll be another company putting together iOS handsets.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly will expand the number of companies that can assemble iPhones. Luxshare Precision could join a rather exclusive club, according to reliable analyst, supposedly to reduce the risk that problems with one manufacturer will cause a shortage of iPhone units.

Stranded photographer didn’t get the memo on MacBook Pro recall

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overheated battery on MacBook Pro
This 15-inch MacBook Pro caught fire while in Sleep mode.
Photo: Steve Gagne/Facebook

A British travel photographer is currently stuck in Vietnam after airport officials refused to let him board a flight because he was carrying a recalled 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Julian Elliott found out during a security check that his MacBook with Retina display was made between Sept. 2015 and February 2017. Apple recalled these models after reports of overheating batteries and fires that cause burns and property damage.

Apple could make AirPods outside China for first time

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Bounce ad for AirPods1
Apple is looking at new places to build its devices.
Photo: Apple

Apple is gearing up to carry out a trial production of AirPods in Vietnam. This is as part of Apple’s aim to expand manufacturing outside of China.

Earlier this summer, Apple asked its suppliers to explore manufacturing in other markets. This was at a time when concerns about possible China tariffs were at their height.

iPhone production could head to Vietnam to avoid U.S. trade tariffs

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iPhone XS box gold
Bag yours before they're all gone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone assembly partner Foxconn is considering the possibility of opening a new facility in Vietnam in an effort to avoid U.S. trade tariffs.

The factory would focus specifically on iPhone production, according to a new report. Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc says talks with Foxconn are underway.