|Vietnam enjoys benefits of Apple moving AirPods Pro manufacturing from China (Photo: The Verge)
According to a Twitter user, multiple reports featured by the MacRumors, in addition to one Verge staff member who recently purchased a pair of Apple headphones, indicate that the tech giant may be making moves to reduce its reliance on Chinese manufacturing.
This can be seen due to AirPods Pro units containing a message on the back of their case that states where the device was originally assembled, with every-increasing numbers being produced outside of China.
The US magazine adds that although Apple famously assembles a large majority of its products in the northern neighbour, the company has shown a keen interest in diversifying its manufacturing locations, even going as far as making sizable investments in new territories.
These efforts to diversify can be attributed to the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as the ongoing trade war between the US and China that has seen tariffs imposed on a number of Apple products and components, putting pressure on CEO Tim Cook to lobby the Trump administration. Most notably, MacRumors state that as far back as 2017, Apple began assembling some iPhone models in India.
Indeed, February saw Apple issue a rare investor note outlining that the global supply of iPhones would be “temporarily constrained” due to its manufacturing partners in China being effected amid the outbreak. Last July, Nikkei reported that Apple was considering moving some of its manufacturing bases to Vietnam to negate the negative effects of the ongoing US – China trade war.
At present, it is unclear what percentage of AirPods Pro are manufactured locally or if Apple plans to produce more items in the country moving forward. However, The Information reported on May 19 that it plans to use factories nationwide in an effort to manufacture a pair of as-of-yet-unannounced over-ear headphones, although Apple plans to manufacture some of the headphones in China as well.
The magazine added that Apple did not comment on the matter.