Earlier this week, a Nikkei Asia report claimed that Apple was in talks to build Apple Watch and MacBook models in Vietnam for the first time. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now revealed that Vietnam is already responsible for manufacturing and shipping units of these products. Even so, Apple’s suppliers in Vietnam are expected to increase production of the Apple Watch ahead of the Series 8 launch.
As detailed by Kuo on his Twitter account, Luxshare ICT, one of Apple’s largest suppliers, already has production lines in China and Vietnam. And according to the analyst, some of the Apple Watch Series 7 units have been shipping from Vietnam for a while now.
But of course, this doesn’t mean that some changes aren’t expected for this year. The analyst believes that with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8 this fall, the proportion of Apple Watch models assembled in Vietnam will increase to as much as 70%. Among Apple’s Chinese suppliers, Luxshare “is the leader in building production lines” outside of China.
In the long run, moving Apple Watch production from China to Vietnam should help Apple protect itself from the “deglobalization trend.” More recently, Kuo also revealed that Apple wants to start production of at least one model of the iPhone 14 lineup in India simultaneously with China.
How geopolitical crises affect Apple’s suppliers
The US government has been facing some disagreements with China recently, which affects almost every company that relies on Chinese suppliers. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple has alerted its suppliers about the situation and is spreading the production of its latest products to more countries. Besides India, Apple also assembles some iPhone models in Brazil.
It’s worth noting that the production line in other countries is not aimed at meeting global demand but at serving local markets.
Kuo believes that the iPhone 14 production capacity in India won’t be enough to fill the gap caused by production challenges in China in the short term, but it’s still an “important milestone for Apple” when it comes to expanding its production to other places.
Both Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14 are expected to be officially announced at a media event on September 7.
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