Vietnam to produce Apple Watch and MacBook for the first time
Apple is in talks to make Apple Watches and MacBooks in Vietnam for the first time as the US tech giant looks to diversify production away from China, Nikkei Asia reported.
Apple suppliers Luxshare Precision Industry and Foxconn have begun test production of the Apple Watch in northern Vietnam with the goal of producing the device outside of China, according to the publication.
For MacBook production, Apple has asked suppliers to set up a test production line in Vietnam. However, progress in moving mass production into the country has been slow, due in part to pandemic-related disruptions.
Vietnam has already become Apple's most important manufacturing center outside of China, producing a wide range of flagship products for the US company, including iPads and AirPods.
The Apple Watch is even more complex, according to industry experts, because so many components in such a small package require a high degree of technological prowess. Production of the device will be a win for Vietnam, they said, as the country attempts to further upgrade its tech manufacturing sector.
Apple also continues to move iPad production to Vietnam in an effort to diversify production. In addition, the group is also in talks with suppliers to set up a trial production line for its HomePod smart speaker in Vietnam.
According to Nikkei Asia's analysis of Apple's latest available supplier list, the number of Apple suppliers with facilities in the Southeast Asian country has increased to at least 22 from 14 in 2018. The newspaper added that many other major electronics makers such as Google, Dell and Amazon have also opened production in the country to diversify outside of China.