Apple may invest $1 billion in Vietnam to build a research and development centre for the entire Asia region.
The Apple logo seen at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco. (AFP/Kimihiro Hoshino)
According to a source of VIR, the centre will most likely be in Hanoi. As of now, the relevant government agencies are proposing to the investor a location and provide guidance to finish the necessary administrative procedures. No further details have been released yet, but the news shows that Apple is finally paying more attention to Vietnam.
Apple has yet to verify the information but looking at the company’s recent moves, it seems that Apple is slowly waltzing into Vietnam.
At the end of October last year, the company set up a subsidiary in Vietnam, named Apple Vietnam LLC. The owner is Gene Daniel Levoff, current vice president of corporate law at Apple Inc. According to Bloomberg, Levoff is an important official at Apple, who plays a major role in the company’s activities in foreign markets.
A few days ago, Apple posted advertisements to recruit an iPhone distribution director and an iOS retail director in Vietnam. The tech-savvy community expects that Apple is soon going to open its first Apple Store here.
As of now, Apple does not have an official distributor in Vietnam. Its products are distributed through authorised resellers, such as FPT Shop and, most recently, MobiFone.
Vietnam is full of Apple fans: the whole country goes wild at any new product launch. Keeping a keen eye out for the company’s activities, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets of Apple.
The Southeast Asian country has become a production base for a host of big mobile phone producers. Samsung has two device production complexes in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen, representing a total investment of $7.5 billion. LG has a $1.5 billion mobile phone and electronic appliances production complex in Haiphong, and Microsoft has a $320 million Windows Phone plant, also in Bac Ninh.
Foxconn, one of Apple’s official manufacturers, already has factories in Vietnam but has yet to produce Apple devices here.