Apple (APPL) will produce three million to four million of its first-generation AirPods in Vietnam for the first time this quarter, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review.
The phone, computer, and earphone maker is stepping up its diversification of production out of China due to the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly 30% of total classic AirPods production this quarter will be "Made in Vietnam."
Vietnam began easing some lockdown measures in late April. Despite sharing a border with China, Vietnam has reported just 288 cases and no deaths. The country has a population of just under 100 million. Vietnam responded swiftly and efficiently to newS of the virus, implementing early border restrictions and other measures that prevented widespread infection.
Last year, Apple had asked suppliers to evaluate plans to move around 15% to 30% of its hardware production out of China. That request was spurred by trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies. Now, the coronavirus may be an even stronger driving force and impetus for diversification, as Apple seeks to ensure its manufacturing won't be impacted by future health pandemics or political events.
AirPods are the world's best-selling wireless Bluetooth earphones. Apple sold nearly 60 million of them in 2019.
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