Apple’s partners have been manufacturing some devices of this brand in Vietnam for some time. Starting next year, the company plans to locate engineering resources in this country that will be responsible for launching the new iPad model and adapting it to the conditions of mass production. For the Chinese company BYD involved in the process, this will reach a new level of interaction with Apple.
The website published the relevant information citing its own sources Nikkei Asian Review. As explained in the publication, within the structure of Apple and its contractors there are NPI departments that are responsible for bringing new products into mass production (new product introduction). This stage of Apple’s interaction with partners assumes that there are certain technical resources on their side that make it possible to make changes to the product specifications and the assembly process itself, taking into account the optimization of the mass production of the new product. For the first time in the history of the presence of Apple partners in Vietnam, these types of activities are being carried out by them in preparation for the release of such a complex product as the iPad.
The process of verifying the test production of the new iPad model at the BYD factory in Vietnam will begin in mid-February, and the new product will be launched in the second half of 2024. We’re talking about an entry-level tablet – in the sense of the hierarchy of Apple products and not older models like the iPad Pro. This stage of Apple’s interaction with contractors includes the allocation of material resources for the purchase of special equipment that allows testing pre-production samples. Now the majority of work in accordance with NPI is carried out in China by Apple contractors with the involvement of American specialists. Previously, Japanese media reported that in connection with the iPhone, part of the resources for the NPI phase would be transferred to Indian territory.
According to IDC experts, at the end of three quarters of this year, Apple continued to lead the global tablet market, occupying about 36.6% of the segment. Analysts at Counterpoint Research estimate that only one in ten iPads was assembled in Vietnam this year; the remaining tablets of this brand are still produced in China. The relocation of Apple partners’ production facilities from China to Vietnam affected all major product categories of this brand, with the exception of the iPhone. The availability of resources for the NPI phase in Vietnam will result in the country becoming a full-fledged production base for the relevant products. Additionally, tablets are the least labor-intensive of all Apple devices in terms of the assembly process. The next step could be the transfer of specialized resources to Vietnam related to the preparation for mass production of Apple laptops. BYD and Apple representatives refused to comment on the relevant news from the Nikkei source.