In October 2018, Apple published a report entitled "Apple Supplier GoerTech Moving AirPod Plant to Vietnam to Avoid Possible Escalation of China-US Trade War. Today, history tells more details.
According to Nikkei Asian Review," China's GoerTek, one of Apple's national contract suppliers, will this summer start testing the resistance of its manufacturing process for the latest generation of AirPods at its North Vietnam audio factory, two sources of knowledge of the plan said.
This will mark the first production of the wireless earbuds – which came to the market in 2016 – outside the world's second largest economy. They are Apple's fastest growing product, reaching 35 million shipments last year against $ 20 million in 201
Apple has written to component suppliers to ask them to support Goertek's efforts despite basically very small volumes, according to a communication. which was seen by Nikkei Asian Review.
"Vendors are asked to keep prices unchanged for the trial production phase, but this can be considered when volumes are increased," one of the sources said with direct communication knowledge.
"The original output will be limited, but it is easy to increase capacity when all production procedures are in progress," the person said.
"Many technicians move or increase production [in Vietnam] to avoid tariffs, given that it is close to China, and have a relatively complete supply chain compared to other countries in Southeast Asia," said Karen Ma, an analyst specializing in Emerging markets at the Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute. For more, read the full Nikkei Asian Review report.
In June, Apple published a report entitled "Apple is Preparing a Basic Restructuring of its Supply Chain That Can Change Up to 30% out of China. "The shift has been working for a while as we reported on the GoerTek movement to Vietnam nine months ago.