Apple to shift iPad capacity to Vietnam amid China supply chain woes
For the first time ever Apple is moving some iPad production out of China and shifting it to Vietnam after strict COVID lockdowns in and around Shanghai led to months of supply chain disruptions, Nikkei Asia has learned. The U.S. company has also asked multiple component suppliers to build up their inventories to guard against future shortages and supply snags, sources said. China’s BYD, one of the leading iPad assemblers, has helped Apple build production lines in Vietnam and could soon start to produce a small number of the iconic tablets there, people with knowledge of the matter said. Apple has long considered building some iPads outside of China, as reported by Nikkei Asia in January last year, but the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in Vietnam a few months later delayed plans to follow through. The iPad will become the second major line of Apple products made in the Southeast Asian country, following the AirPods earbud series. The move highlights not only Apple’s continuous efforts to diversify its supply chain but also the growing importance of Vietnam to the company. Apple shipped 58 million iPads last year, with the vast majority of the device’s suppliers concentrated in China.