Apple could start manufacturing iPads in Vietnam by the middle of this year, marking the first time a “significant number” of the tablets would be produced outside of China, Nikkei reports. As well as shifting iPad production, Apple is also reportedly increasing the number of iPhones manufactured in India, where it’s produced some iPhone 11 units since last year. It will reportedly begin producing iPhone 12 series devices in the country as early as this quarter.
The report paints a picture of a company that’s increasingly keen to diversify its manufacturing out of China, despite hopes that trade tensions could ease under President Biden. Nikkei notes that the new administration has said it won’t immediately ease tariffs on Chinese imports, and there are also other factors like rising labor costs in China prompting Apple and other companies to look for alternative manufacturing hubs.
More audio products could be produced in Vietnam
Beyond iPhones and iPads, Nikkei reports that Apple is ramping up manufacturing of a host of other devices outside of China. Following reports last year that Apple moved some AirPods Pro manufacturing to Vietnam, Nikkei says it’s also planning on expanding HomePod mini production in the country and will also move some MacBook production. (Reuters reported on Apple’s early plans to shift MacBook and iPad production to Vietnam last year.) Some Mac mini production has also been moved to Malaysia, Nikkei notes.
News of Apple’s shifting supply chains comes a little under two years after reports emerged that Apple was planning to move between 15 and 30 percent of its manufacturing out of China. It now appears much of that shift is well underway.