Apple plans to begin producing MacBooks in Vietnam for the very first time next year as a part of its manufacturing diversification strategy amid rising tensions between the United States and China.
Apple's major supplier, Taiwan's Foxconn, is to begin manufacturing MacBooks in Vietnam around May 2023.
It has taken longer for Apple to establish manufacturing locations outside of China for the last of its key product lines, the MacBook, owing to the complexity of the supply chain required for creating laptop computers.
"After the MacBook production shifts, all of Apple's flagship products will have one more production location beyond China. iPhones in India and MacBooks, the Apple Watch and iPads in Vietnam," an industry insider told Nikkei Asia. "What Apple wants now is an 'out of China' option for at least part of production for all of its products."
With escalating geopolitical tensions and production interruptions due to China's zero-COVID policy, the move to Vietnam seems reasonable.
Apple suppliers have been in talks to produce the Apple Watch and MacBook in Vietnam since a few months ago. Apple’s Chinese supplier Luxshare Precision Industry and Taiwan-based Foxconn have also started test production of the Apple Watch in the north of Vietnam.
In 2020, Apple began manufacturing AirPods in Vietnam as part of its strategy to diversify its supply chain. According to Nikkei Asia, Apple has moved some production of iPads and Apple Watch to Vietnam this year, and in October, the firm said that it had begun manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India, only a few weeks after the debut of the new flagship phone.
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