Apple Appears to be Splitting AirPods Production between China and Vietnam, according Supply Chain Reports
Patently Apple posted a report back in October 2018 titled "Apple Supplier GoerTech Moving AirPods Plant to Vietnam to avoid Possible Escalation of China-USA Trade War." A new report by "The Information" has a vague report about possible loans that Apple suppliers Goertek and Luxshare are seeking to expand production. These manufacturers also make earbuds for Apple's competitors so it's difficult to assign the loans specifically to increase AirPods in Vietnam.
Yesterday we posted a report titled "Apple Reportedly Shifting more Product Orders away from Taiwan to China's Supply Chain to tighten production costs." Digitimes noted that "By leveraging the supply chain in China, Apple also aims to tighten its control over production costs through volume purchases, added the sources."
The report further noted that "Apple is expected to ramp up the production of AirPods Pro at China-based production partner Luxshare-ICT, which is also likely land orders for Apple Watch later, said the sources."
Yesterday's report was focused on Apple specifically shifting more production orders to the Chinese supply chain and away from Taiwan and specifically about Luxshare for AirPods Pro in the Luxshare plant in China.
The Information's report is too vague about the loan details and what these plants will be making in Vietnam in terms of AirPods specifically versus other branded earbuds. It could very well be that Apple's high-end AirPods Pro will be made in China and their entry level AirPods destined for Vietnam. The graphic for the The Information's report illustrates entry level AirPods as we've presented as our cover graphic.