Diversifying The Supply Chain

Apple, like most companies, has most, if not all manufacturing taking place in China. While this has been debated hotly in the US for decades if it's good to do, COVID and the inability to make things have hit the tech sector hard. Apple is now doing something about it. Arnold Zafra at The Mac Observer has the ways Apple is working to make sure they can continue to build at scale.

According to Nikkei Asia, Apple suppliers Luxshare Precision Industry and Foxconn started test production of the Apple Watch in northern Vietnam. With the level of sophistication that making the Apple Watch entails, it would be a big win for Vietnam manufacturers if they manage to secure the deal. This would be a big push for the country’s manufacturing sector.

Aside from China, Vietnam has also been Apple’s most important manufacturing hub. Vietnamese manufacturers have previously been contracted to make some of Apple’s flagship products including iPads and AirPods.

The Mac Observer

The report also said that BYD of China assisted Apple in shifting production to Vietnam. Foxconn has also been helping in iPad production in Vietnam, Nikkei Asia reported. Additionally, Apple is looking to build a production line for its HomePod devices in Vietnam.

Apple (and others) reliance on a single country to manufacture goods has been a risky gambit in the past two decades. The invention of Just In Time ways to build stuff keeps costs down, but it builds in no buffer for unforeseen issues. A global pandemic certainly qualifies.

Yes, it would be fantastic to see this work come back to the US. However, that ship has long sailed. For a time Apple was building the Mac Pro in Texas. Aside from a large announcement of doing that, I don't remember hearing anything else about that. Perhaps the fate of the "trash can" machine also sunk the idea of building a super-expensive machine here at home.