AirPods Pro Starting to Be Assembled in Vietnam

falainber

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Mar 16, 2016
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I was pleasantly surprised when the AirPod Pros I ordered off Amazon last week had "made in Vietnam" on the charging case. They also seem to be better quality than the 2 sets of series 1 AirPods I went through where the gaps in the plastic where the housing is glued together you could slide a piece of paper between. Vietnam is only communist in name these days, they aren't the totalitarian monstrosity like China has become under the CCP, so I'd rather my money go there.
So, you like Vietnam Communist Party better than the Chinese one. Are we getting nuanced about communism now?
Besides, Vietnam is a relatively small country (compared to China) with underdeveloped manufacturing. Your Pods might have been assembled in Vietnam but most likely were manufactured in China.
 
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TiggrToo

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Aug 24, 2017
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I'm not going to buy anything 'Made In China' anymore. It's quite tough and companies like Samsung need to advertise their products are made in Korea. Apple and Microsoft need to do the same.
Good luck with that. Unsure what smartphone you'll be buying next...
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Because a diverse supply chain is a more flexible one. We've also begun to move to non Chinese manufacturers to compliment our China based ones.
 
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kemal

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It is all about who is running the factory. I have excellent WiHa tools made in Germany and Vietnam.
 
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Eorlas

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Feb 10, 2010
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I'm not going to buy anything 'Made In China' anymore. It's quite tough and companies like Samsung need to advertise their products are made in Korea. Apple and Microsoft need to do the same.
then you have to be ready to give up a lot of things where the components are made from multiple places, including china, but assembled elsewhere
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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As much as the majority of Apples manufacturing takes place in China, it’s easy to overlook where products are manufactured. But looking at this article, I don’t care where my product is manufactured, because Apple still retains high-quality standards, but at least they provide different workforce options and opportunities across the world to different countries. In respect to this article, I think that’s all that matters.
 
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Puppuccino

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Well done Tim Apple!
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I mean you can't buy pretty much anything at all in that case. I bet even the on these 'assembled in Vietnam' products the majority of the component supply chain operates in China.
Exactly. This story is being well over played. The product may have come together in Vietnam but the components were mostly made and sold from China so this means nothing really. Technically they could ship the parts ready to be glued in the US. They’d still come from China.
 
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pray2crom

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May 21, 2019
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I don't understand the move to vietnam. Why not in the US? Tim "Apple" keeps talking about making apple products with the highest environmental and labour standards but keeps producing in Countries where no such labour and environmentals laws exists. Yes I know I am beating a dead horse, but I am always amazed to see people act in awe struck and give such baseless praise to apple when apple touts their environmental and labour standards.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
Some of the posts in here suggest that even if the writers have enough dough to buy a dozen sets of AirPods they wouldn't think of dropping a few bucks into an eye opening subscription to either the Financial Times or the Wall St. Journal.

But carry on. Always interesting to see how long a thread like this can persist on unvoiced political opinions (wrong forum for that, eh?!) rather than on anything to do with either the cost of doing business in the era of global trade or the diplomatic and political considerations of supply chains in East Asia... where China has more influence now than does the USA.... and where China has been engaged for some time in studying how to reduce its own reliance on US technology for the good of its own supply chains and economy... and where Vietnam is still playing catch-up.

Oh and by the way for those unaware, Vietnam is also definitely run by a distinctly communist government that enthusiastically uses a modified form of capitalism to conduct business and help its economy and citizens prosper.

So for those fascinated by abandoning US conduct of business in China primarily because the current US head of state has been engaged in a trade war with Xi, far be it from me to suggest moving this thread over to PRSI, but don't forget who won the right to form a government in a reunified Vietnam when the American war was over. It wasn't France, nor the USA, nor the erstwhile colonialist puppet government of South Vietnam. The main difference between China's president and Vietnam's prime minister is how many citizens say "how high" when either one of those heads of state says "jump". And as Americans have already learned in both countries, that can apply to managers of foreign manufacturing companies that locate supply chains in either one.

Both of these Asian countries (as well as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and dare I say Taiwan as well) are interested in competitive economic partnerships with the USA and not in being subsumed by any particular US flavor of the month politics. I'd assume that's the case for US companies too, whether considering their business abroad or at home.

Most of us are not CEOs of American behemoths with supply chains in Asia. Talking about moving them is cheap. Way cheaper than getting up to speed on the subject anyway, eh?


Well this one's free for the looking (aka second hand reporting off a paywalled piece)



For those inclined to shell out for a subscription to the FT

or the WSJ

Well said, I fervently hope that the US does fully decouple from China, equally then the wining will really start. With the reality being the Asian producers don't explicitly depend on the US, very much more the global market...

Q-6
 
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ksec

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It is still manufactured by a Chinese Company, it just happen the factory is now in Vietnam rather than in China.

This is not leaving China, this is taking China out to the world in help of their world domination.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

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Mar 13, 2016
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Do you run through the streets naked?
Their share of the world textile market in 2017 was 43.1 %. Export volume 2018: ($ billion: China 118.53; India 18.11; Germany 14.79; US 13.82; Italy 12.72)
That is a good example. When entering a clothing store and sales asks if they can help you just ask plain and simple where the made in Europe/Americas stuff is. The more people do that the more production will come back.
And, yes, that jeans will start at 40 bucks not 25. Yet, when buying higher quality stuff you pay that price anywayn, the difference is that currently all that profit stays with the brand you are buying from not the workers. Almost none of them have responsible manufacturing anyway.
 
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TiggrToo

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Aug 24, 2017
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I don't understand the move to vietnam. Why not in the US? Tim "Apple" keeps talking about making apple products with the highest environmental and labour standards but keeps producing in Countries where no such labour and environmentals laws exists. Yes I know I am beating a dead horse, but I am always amazed to see people act in awe struck and give such baseless praise to apple when apple touts their environmental and labour standards.
You wanted to pay $1,000 or $1,500 for your next iPhone? I'll let you guess where the $1,500 phone would be made.

And can we please stop with this immature "Tim Apple" malarky?
 
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CWallace

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I don't understand the move to vietnam. Why not in the US?
Vietnam already has production facilities experienced at making Apple accessories (evidently they make a fair number of the Ear Pods that ship with iPhones) so having them expand to Air Pods was likely something they could quickly do.

Moving production to the US would require building a new production facility and then hire and train a workforce to assemble them. Such a process could take years, versus probably months using existing production facilities and trained workers in Vietnam.


Tim "Apple" keeps talking about making apple products with the highest environmental and labour standards but keeps producing in Countries where no such labour and environmentals laws exists.
Apple can and has imposed their own standards for labor and environment on their foreign suppliers. And let's be honest, the US is very much a patchwork of labor and environmental standards when you look at the States themselves (not to mention the Federal relaxation of such standards under the current Administration).
 
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LizKat

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Aug 5, 2004
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Anywhere but China. It's going to be rough making that transition, especially in places like Amazon. I'm glad Trump started holding China accountable for their biased trade agreements. There was lots of crying when he started doing that a few years back but now everyone's eyes have been opened and it's plain to see it was the right move. At this point, if we start to lose China, it will force US companies to source elsewhere.

Let it begin.
You have been reading some selectively prepared talking points or else watching someone else broadcast them. But hey those are both a permissible adventure in the USA. Enjoy the ride.

"Making the transition" involves extra known and unknown costs when moving a supply chain.

Is it just assembly or is it manufacture of the thing that is getting moved, anyway? Where did the raw materials or the components come from? Also China? Oh, great.

So China will be happy to keep providing the components or the raw materials to some new location at a very special price to whoever also moved some jobs out of China when moving a supply chain. No doubt about that. Maybe if the move wasn't part of a trade war, things might be viewed differently. Everything's "just business" until it's also a war and personal.​

Extra costs mean writeoffs or raising prices to prevent writeoffs. The extra costs are stuff like training new workers, putting on more QA, redoing more work, having on hand (or importing) more materials to offset materials lost due to botched assembly etc. Shareholders and other stakeholders don't want to hear about "costs of transition" in some supply chain move. They want to hear about a profit margin hike over the hike that was attained in the previous quarter.

Who wants to roll dice on fiddilng with supply chain cost adjustments and price hikes on something during a global pandemic just because a certain someone has it out for China these days? Probably not Tim Cook. So whatever Apple has done with its Airpod Pro line's manufacture and assembly will have been done with a view of Apple's stakeholders first and only then some sort of cosmetic sop to that guy in DC who wants to be seen by his base as punishing China for his own personal and political reasons.

What, you don't think Tim Cook is capable of picking up the phone and having a word with someone who has a word with Xi to effect of how the change Apple's making in Airpod Pro assembly won't materially affect China's bottom line and anyway Xi shouldn't forget that Apple just bumped up SE 2 and 2020 MBA and MBP production so... yeah. Meanwhile a certain someone in DC gets to crow to his base about how stuff's getting moved out of China. Whatever it takes, right? Sigh.
 
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Sanlitun

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
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I think Tim has read the writing on the wall and sees the conflict with China that is coming.

What is happening in Hong Kong today will only accelerate the process.
 
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mannyvel

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Mar 16, 2019
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Communism exists in name only; it's really a label that currently means "authoritarian government that adheres to the idea of central control, ignores the rule of law when convenient, and exerts ideological control over its populace."

The only true communists left are in North Korea (where almost everyone is poor and thus equal) and in parts the US. And even NK is more Communist in form than in ideology.

Basically, the history of Communism shows that it's a great way to get, keep, and consolidate power. The rhetoric inspires the people to revolution, and once you're on top it's easy to eliminate everyone who doesn't agree with you, including the people.
 
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ZapMyPRAM

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Jun 4, 2008
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Boycott all Apple products until they are completely made in the USA by companies owned, managed and staffed by legal US Citizens.
 
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LizKat

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Aug 5, 2004
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Well said, I fervently hope that the US does fully decouple from China, equally then the wining will really start. With the reality being the Asian producers don't explicitly depend on the US, very much more the global market...

Q-6
A full decouple from China is unrealistic and undesirable from not only the POV of US companies but from the standpoint of American consumers, at least the ones who are wage earners in the USA these days. The last thing the USA needs is an inflationary move like taking all supply chains out of China (where would they go?) and then expecting the Fed to raise rates in a country where a lot of the workforce couldn't even afford a $400 emergency expense before they got laid off during the global pandemic. We're a consumer-based, debt-based economy and a lot of us now have no jobs and no savings and few other assets and a whole lot of college loans and other debt. And some of us are worried about where our supply chains are?

If the stuff were not made in China we couldn't afford to buy most of what we were able to buy as of say last December, including the clothes we wear and the stuff in our kitchens... including some of the foods in the fridges and cupboards. I can think of better times in which to decide to disrupt the economy even more than it's just been disrupted by a pandemic illness.

The USA just embarked on a reopening of its economy involving the requirement to pay about three months of back rent pretty soon. That should be interesting. Plenty of those now deferring rent could barely put food on the table to begin with, so catching up should be a real trip in terms of the spinoff impact on American retailers, even at the Walmarts where some of those workers both get paid and have to shop.

Whatever happened to free markets and letting companies decide how best to deal with costs and price of goods? Doesn't apply in election season? There are some people getting led down the garden path here by some ignorant but highly placed folks down in the Beltway.

Meanwhile no big deal Apple moves its Airpod Pro assembly to Vietnam. It's a cosmetic tip of the hat to a guy in DC.
 
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