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Apple Shifts iPad Product Development to Vietnam in a Strategic Move Outside of China

In a significant strategic move, Apple has reportedly shifted its focus on iPad product development to Vietnam, indicating a notable change in the Southeast Asian nation's role as an alternative manufacturing hub outside of China. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is collaborating with China's BYD, a key iPad assembler, to relocate New Product Introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam.

This marks the first time Apple has transferred NPI resources to Vietnam for a core device. NPI involves the collaborative design and development of new products with suppliers to ensure the feasibility of blueprints. The move is concentrated on entry-level iPad models, with the engineering verification process for test production of a new iPad model set to commence around mid-February next year. The model is expected to hit the market in the second half of the following year.

While the majority of Apple's NPI activities historically took place in China, recent geopolitical uncertainties have prompted the company to reconsider its approach. Additionally, Apple plans to extend some NPI processes for the iPhone to India. Vietnam has become a crucial tech manufacturing hub for Apple, with the company urging suppliers to establish new capacity for nearly all its products, excluding the iPhone.

This move positions non-China hubs, including Vietnam, as genuine alternative manufacturing bases. Industry executives and experts assert that Vietnam consistently plays a crucial and strategic role in manufacturing, potentially evolving into one of the next global manufacturing centers. Although several analysts acknowledge the emergence of India and Vietnam as pivotal manufacturing ecosystems, they also emphasize that despite US-China tensions, Apple will continue to collaborate closely with Chinese suppliers during its supply chain transition.

Apple Shifts iPad Product Development to Vietnam in a Strategic Move Outside of China

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