Apple shifting production of core products in India, Vietnam: Report

Apple is shifting production of its Mac, iPads, and iPhones to India and Vietnam, a move signaling accelerated diversification, despite hopes that US President Joe Biden will ease trade tensions with China.

Apple is expected to start producing iPads in Vietnam by mid-2021 and its first 5G smartphones the iPhone 12 series in India, within this quarter, according to Nikkei Asia sources.

Apple is also shifting production base from China for products like earphones, computers, and smart speakers as a part of its ongoing diversification strategy.

Apple did not respond to queries, the report said.

Specifically, the production capacity of its voice-activated smart HomePod mini speakers will be expanded in Vietnam, where it has been produced since its launch in 2020. Local production of other audio devices and AirPods in the Southeast Asian country have already been increased.

Besides this, part production of MacBook will also be shifted to Vietnam this year, adding that production of the Mac mini has been shifted to Malaysia, another source told publication.

A supply chain manager told Nikkei Asia that not only Apple, but many tech companies “all want out-of-China production even for their core products – something that was hard to imagine two years ago, but is not impossible now.”

Apple suppliers are also shifting to Vietnam, for e.g. supplier Foxconn invested $270 million for a subsidiary there, while Luxshare Precision Industry (AirPods, HomePod mini) is also ramping production in the country, it added.

India is in fact the Apple’s second-largest production base. The shift, which began in 2020, is likely to continue in 2021, as despite hopes that President Biden will ease trade tensions, he has said the tariff policy imposed by former President Donald Trump will not be immediately reversed.