Apple is moving some iPad production outside China for the first time, report says

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Apple is moving some iPad production outside China for the first time, report says
Apple sold about 58 million iPads last year.Isabel Fernandez Pujol/Insider
  • iPad assembler BYD is helping Apple to move some production to Vietnam, Nikkei Asia reported.
  • It's the first time that iPads will be manufactured outside China.
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Apple is moving some iPad production out of China for the first time amid ongoing disruption caused by lockdowns in cities such as Shanghai, Nikkei Asia reported.

BYD, a Chinese manufacturer and major supplier of iPads, will soon start producing a small number of the tablets in Vietnam, according to the report.

The iPad would be the second major Apple product series to be manufactured in Vietnam after AirPods Pro 2.

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Apple also asked several China-based manufacturers to stockpile components parts such as circuit boards and chips to safeguard against future supply disruptions and ease disruptions caused by ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, Nikkei reported.

A months-long lockdown in Shanghai was partially eased on Wednesday but has caused severe disruption to the tech sector already hampered by the ongoing semiconductor shortage.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook estimated in April that these supply constraints would cost the company between $4 billion and $8 billion.

Quanta Computer, another supplier to Apple, has come under scrutiny for its "closed loop" COVID-19 system that has forced workers to stay in on-site dorms and sparked sparked protests.

Apple had been planning to move some production out of China to reduce its reliance on decision-making in Beijing and its trade relationships with the US, but that was put on hold when the pandemic began, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Some iPhone production was moved to a Foxconn plant in 2017 near Chennai, India, but about 90% of its products are still being manufactured in China, analysts told The Journal.

About 58 million iPads were shipped last year, compared with 233 million iPhones.

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Apple and BYD did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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