Apple has long made a habit of diversifying its supply chain whenever possible, and so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the company is ready to launch a trial of next-generation AirPods in Vietnam. 19659002] According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review Apple has commissioned its manufacturing partner Goertek to handle the first trial period. The move marks some departure from the current setup where AirPod's production is handled in China. At this point, it is unclear whether the upcoming production in Vietnam will focus on current AirPods 2 or on AirPods 3 that can start before 2020.
Having said that, it is worth noting that Apple currently has no plans about moving the whole
The report partly reads:
But the move to launch trial production, usually a precursor to mass production, comes in Vietnam as Apple explores with suppliers the consequences of buying 15% to 30% of production outside China, where Costs and labor benefits begin to fade. The Nikkei Asian Review reported last year that the California tech giant had asked the vendors to investigate the cost of such diversification.
Apple's move here should not come as much of a surprise given previous reports indicating that Apple has been actively investigating moving some of its output out of China, largely due to the ongoing trade war. Just last month, the word arose that Apple applied for vendor estimates regarding the related costs of moving up to 30% of production capacity to other locations outside of China.
Finally, a new investor note from earlier this month claims that AirPods 3 will offer a slightly redesigned shape factor, improved water resistance and more. While the details remain unclear, the rumblings AirPods 3 can start before the end of the year, although it seems a little unlikely given how recently AirPods 2 hit the store shelves.