Apple wants to start producing MacBooks outside of China before mid-2023. Earlier than expected by many observers, the US computer group would like to start production in Vietnam in order to circumnavigate the tensions between China and the USA.
As the Japanese economic service Nikkei Asia reports, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn is currently building capacity for the construction of MacBooks in Vietnam for Apple. So far, Apple notebooks have come almost exclusively from a specific plant in China, which is operated by the contract manufacturer Quanta, also from Taiwan.
According to the report, Apple plans to start manufacturing MacBooks in Vietnam as early as May 2023. Apple is thus taking the last step in diversifying its production sites because there is already at least one other production site outside of China for all other important products of the US group.
Years of Preparations
Plans to produce MacBooks in Vietnam have been around for some time. Apple has been working on making production outside of China for around two years. So far, however, there is only one production line in Vietnam operated for test purposes. With the start of mass production of MacBook models in the Southeast Asian country, another important building block in Apple’s plan for diversifying manufacturing is being put in place.
It is still unclear how large the proportion of MacBooks manufactured in Vietnam in the total number of units will initially be. Apple recently had around 24 to 26 million notebooks built every year, with production taking place exclusively at a total of three locations in China.
Apple began diversifying its manufacturing base in 2020 when it began manufacturing AirPods series products in Vietnam. Parts of the iPad and Apple Watch production have also been carried out in Vietnam for several months.
iPhone meanwhile also comes from India, where the high-end models of the Pro series have also been built for a few months after only the slightly cheaper versions had rolled off the assembly line there before. According to earlier reports, the proportion of iPhones built in India is set to increase significantly in the coming years.