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.
This would be the second major device made in Vietnam, following Apple's popular AirPods.
Apple has also asked suppliers to build up inventories of components, including PCBs and mechanical and electronics parts, to guard against future disruptions. Notably, the company wants suppliers outside of lockdown affected areas to build enough components to offset the amount made by their rivals in Shanghai.
"Those additional stocks prepared for Apple could become a heavy burden for suppliers if the production of other suppliers isn't disrupted by lockdowns again," another supply chain executive told Nikkei Asia. The executive added that most suppliers would agree to build some additional stocks as a buffer, but they will "definitely not" increase supplies enough to fully offset their rivals' shares.
More details in full report linked below...