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Apple to shift production of iPhones, iPads, Macs to India, Vietnam

Apple is ramping up the production of its core products in India and Vietnam and the list includes iPads, iPhones, AirPods, HomePod minis and MacBooks.

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12 (Robin Sinha/HT Tech)

Apple is shifting the production of its core products like the MacBooks, iPads and iPhones to India and Vietnam in an effort to diversify despite hopes that new US President Joe Biden will the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China.

According to reports, sources told Nikkei Asia that Apple is going to start producing iPads in Vietnam by “as early as mid-2021” and will begin producing its first 5G devices, the iPhone 12 series, in India within this quarter.

This should mean that iPhones will get cheaper in India if the reports are correct, though it hasn’t been verified yet.

And it is not just iPads and iPhones, the production of AirPods, the HomePod mini, MacBooks too might be shifted out of China according to reports and this is a part of Apple’s “ongoing diversification strategy”. However, Apple has not responded to this report yet.

The report adds that the production capacity of the HomePod mini will be expanded in Vietnam. The HomePods Mini has been produced in Vietnam since they were launched in 2020. Local production of other audio devices including the AirPods has already been increased in Vietnam.

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Part production of the MacBooks will also be shifted to Vietnam this year, a source told Nikkei Asia and added that the production of the Mac mini has been shifted to Malaysia.

A supply chain manager told Nikkei Asia that it’s not only Apple, but many other tech companies want “out-of-China” production for their core products, something that was almost unimaginable two years ago, but is possible now.

Apple’s suppliers are also falling in line with the production shift to Vietnam. For example, Foxconn has invested $270 million for a subsidiary in Vietnam while Luxshare Precision Industry (who make AirPods and the HomePod mini) is also ramping production in the country, the manager added.

This indicates that Apple is going to produce a “significant number of devices” outside China and India is, in fact, Apple’s second largest production base.

This production shift, which began in 2020 is likely to continue in 2021. Despite hopes that Biden will ease trade tensions between the US and China, he has said that the tariff policy that was imposed by Donald Trump will not be immediately reversed.

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