Apple has shifted production of some of its AirPods lineup to Vietnam, as it continues to diversify its supply chain as it works to move some of its product production out of China.
Apple reportedly began trialing production of its regular AirPods in Vietnam nearly one year ago, and a December report claimed Apple’s AirPods supply partners were looking for financing to expand their production.
Nikkei reported two weeks ago that the mass production of Apple’s base-model AirPods in Vietnam began in March.
“The mass production of AirPods in Vietnam started as early as in March,” a person familiar with the matter said. “The Vietnamese officials even granted special permits for a key Apple AirPods assembler to help the company bring in engineers to the country for smooth production during lockdowns.” Vietnam began easing some lockdown measures in late April.
At that time, the Vietnamese production “not yet include” the higher-end AirPods Pro, but it now appears that AirPods Pro production has begun in Vietnam, as @alixrezax on Twitter posted a photo of a pair of AirPods Pro with “Assembled in Vietnam” shown on the charging cases. (As seen below.)
Apple is now selling AirPods Pro models that are Assembled in Vietnam pic.twitter.com/UZWNHtcBi4
— Alireza (@alixrezax) May 20, 2020
Apple has long included Vietnam as a part of its audio accessory production, including wired EarPods. Apple’s over-the-ear “AirPods Studio” headphones are expected to be party produced in Vietnam, with shipments expected to begin during the June/July timeframe.
Apple is also reportedly planning to move some production of its iPhone to India and Vietnam. Key assembly partner Foxconn already has a large amount of assembly capacity in the country.