Apple is moving Apple Watch and MacBook production to Vietnam for the first time. Nikkei Asia reports that MacBook design changes have made it practical for the machines to be assembled in the Southeastern Asian country for the first time. Up til now, only iPads and AirPods have been assembled in the country.
Nikkei Asia says that Apple supplier Luxshare has begun trial assembly of Apple Watch and MacBook models in Vietnam. The report says that Apple is also considering moving HomePod production to the country. The report noted that Apple’s trial production of MacBooks in Vietnam is progressing slowly due to pandemic relation disruptions.
Apple is in talks to make Apple Watches and MacBooks in Vietnam for the first time, marking a further win for the Southeast Asian country as the U.S. tech giant looks to diversify production away from China.
Apple suppliers Luxshare Precision Industry and Foxconn have started test production of the Apple Watch in northern Vietnam with the aim of producing the device outside of China for the very first time, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikkei Asia
On the MacBook front, Apple has asked suppliers to set up a test production line in Vietnam, two sources said.
One of the people with direct knowledge of the situation said: “The components for MacBooks have become more modularized than in the past, which makes it easier to produce the laptops outside of China.”
The move is part of Apple’s effort to lessen the Cupertino firm’s reliance on China for what the company calls FATP – Final Assembly, Test, and Pack.
Apple has stepped up its relocation efforts in recent months, due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the weak response by other countries. China is thought to be emboldened by the response to the Ukraine invasions, increasing the possibility of China invading Taiwan.
China’s Zero COVID-19 policy has led to lockdown after lockdown, creating huge difficulties for production.