Apple to relocate key iPad engineering resources to Vietnam
Apple is collaborating with BYD, a main iPad manufacturer in China, to relocate new product introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam.
NPI entails a technology company, such as Apple, collaborating with suppliers on the design and development of new goods to ensure that the blueprints are feasible. This is the first time that Apple has relocated NPI resources to Vietnam for such a critical item.
According to Nikkei Asia, engineering verification on a new iPad model will begin in mid-February of next year. In the second half of next year, the model will be available.
This change in NPI engineering resources is aimed at low-cost devices rather than the high-end iPad Pro.
NPI necessitates significant resources from both the tech firm and its suppliers, such as engineers and lab equipment expenditures for testing new features and functions.
According to IDC data, Apple is the world's largest tablet manufacturer, with a market share of 36.6 percent in the first three quarters of 2023. According to Counterpoint Research, Vietnam produced only about 10% of all iPads this year.
Outside of China, Vietnam has emerged as Apple's most important electronics manufacturing location. The Cupertino-based tech giant has asked suppliers to construct extra capacity in the Southeast Asian country for nearly all of its products except the iPhone, ranging from AirPods and MacBooks to Apple Watches and iPads.
According to Ivan Lam, a tech analyst at Counterpoint Research, Vietnam continually plays a critical and strategic role in manufacturing, operating as a hub and potentially becoming one of the future global manufacturing centers.
According to him, Apple's recent supply chain mapping has proven the capabilities of its Vietnam production site to manufacture the iPad and scale up production.
According to Bryan Ma, Vice President of Client Devices Research at IDC, Vietnam is one of the benefactors of the device industry's diversification efforts, which include not only tablets but also personal computers, which are much more difficult to produce.
"Having the entire ecosystem move with the assemblers is important, particularly for notebooks, where there are more discrete parts," he went on to say.
"After these years of shift, we find places in India and Vietnam emerge as two very important manufacturing ecosystems," said Vincent Chen, President of CTBC Securities Investment Service and senior tech analyst.
Several global corporations, including Apple, Nike, Morgan Stanley, Intel, and Google, have a presence in Vietnam.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, overall foreign investment inflows to Vietnam reached roughly $28.85 billion in the last 11 months of this year, a 14.8 percent increase year on year.
Source: Nikkei Assia
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