Apple shifts iPad assembly to Vietnam amid Covid lockdowns in China

Apple is moving some of its iPad production from China to Vietnam after Covid lockdowns in Shanghai caused supply chain snafus, according to sources who spoke to Nikkei Asia.

Apple has not responded to a request to comment on the report.

Apple’s leading iPad assembler is BYD, which will reportedly assemble the tablets at its production lines in Vietnam.

The publication also said Apple has requested its suppliers increase inventories of needed products after reporting in early May that MacBook and iPad assemblers in Taiwan had seen revenue declines due to the lockdowns. Apple earlier said it expects  a revenue hit up to $8 billion in the ongoing quarter due to supply chain disruptions from the Chinese lockdowns.

The report also said Apple asked suppliers to stock up on printed circuit boards and other electronic components such as power-related chips need for the coming iPhone 14 series.  That phone line is reportedly three weeks behind due to the lockdown.

Apple has already relied on assemblers in Vietnam to product irpods. In 2021, Apple had attempted to make iPads in Vietnam but Covid cases forced a delay in its plans.

Apple joins other companies seeking to diversify and expand geographically the manufacture and assembly of electronics, including semiconductors, as the supply chain problems exacerbated by Covid continue.  Trade groups and analysts have pushed for production and assembly outside of Asian countries which dominate the industry even as the U.S. is often seen as a primary designer of chips and many products.

President Biden recently visited a Samsung chip facility in South Korea and praised the company for building a semiconductor plant in Texas to open in 2024 and create 3,000 jobs.

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Intel is also expanding its efforts to provide semiconductor manufacturing outside of Asia with plans for new production facilities in the U.S. and Europe.

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