Apple CEO Tim Cook poses in front of a new MacBook Airs running M2 chips display during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, June 6, 2022.
Peter Dasilva | Reuters
The move reflects the tech giant’s push to expand its manufacturing beyond China, as it grapples with increased U.S.-China trade tensions and supply chain disruptions related to Covid lockdowns.
Apple was reportedly in talks in August to move some production for its Apple Watches, MacBooks and HomePods to Vietnam. Now, the company’s assembly partner Foxconn could begin producing MacBooks in the country as soon as May of 2023, according to Nikkei Asia.
Apple makes around 20 million to 24 million MacBooks each year, according to the report. Nikkei Asia said the company has been planning to shift some of its MacBook production to Vietnam for the last two years.
The company’s manufacturing partners already build some iPhones in India and have been in talks to build AirPods there, too.
Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to buying U.S.-made chips from a new Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing factory in Arizona. TSMC is building two plants in the state, with the first set to open in 2024 and another to open in 2026.
Shares of Apple were down less than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday.
It’s been a challenging year for Apple to navigate the supply chain. Last month, factory employees clashed with security personnel at the Zhengzhou plant in China, the world’s largest iPhone factory, run by Foxconn. The factory was also hit by a Covid-19 outbreak in October that caused workers to flee the facility as the company moved to control the outbreak by isolating infected people.
Analysts said the unrest in China will impact Apple’s December quarter, historically Apple’s biggest quarter, which is bolstered by the holiday shopping season.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.