A recent report suggests that Apple may start producing MacBook models in Vietnam as early as May 2023.
Technological tension between Washington and Beijing is slowly building up. As a result, Apple has been working to diversify its production base away from China. Supply chain diversification is even more crucial for flagship products such as iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.
Last week, an online source revealed Apple’s plan to triple its iPhone production capacity in India within the next two years.
Unfortunately, the supply chain required for making laptops is slightly more complex. As a result, the Cupertino-based tech giant has struggled to increase MacBook production outside China. Indeed, the MacBook is Apple’s last major product lineup that’s manufactured solely in the Asian nation.
But that’s about to change. According to a Nikkei Asia report, Apple will start making MacBooks in Vietnam as early as May 2023.
“After the MacBook production shifts, all of Apple’s flagship products basically will have one more production location beyond China,” says an anonymous source. “What Apple wants now is an ‘out of China’ option for at least part of production for all of its products.”
Producing MacBooks in Vietnam by Mid-2023
Apple has been diversifying its supply chain to Vietnam for over two years. While it started with the AirPods production in 2020, the tech giant quickly expanded to Apple Watches and iPads.
In January 2021, the Vietnamese government granted Taiwan’s Foxconn license to build a $270 million factory. The plant, located in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang, will solely manufacture iPads and MacBooks.
According to projections, the new Foxconn factory should produce roughly eight million laptops and iPads annually.
Admittedly, the number is less than the 20-24 million MacBooks produced yearly from the bases in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and Shanghai. However, it means Apple will rely less on China, and that’s a welcome change.
“No one wants their businesses to be trapped and hit badly just because their production is too concentrated in one place,” says Chiu Shih-fang, a supply chain analyst. “From big to small, suppliers now need to have some solutions for facing this new global reality.”