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Business News/ Technology / News/  Apple in talks with suppliers to make MacBooks in Thailand: Report
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Apple in talks with suppliers to make MacBooks in Thailand: Report

Apple already has been mass producing its Apple Watch in Thailand for more than a year

Apple suppliers involved in the talks already have manufacturing complexes in Thailand for other clients. (AFP)Premium
Apple suppliers involved in the talks already have manufacturing complexes in Thailand for other clients. (AFP)

US-based technology major Apple Inc is reportedly in talks with suppliers to make MacBooks in Thailand. According to a report by Nikkei, the move is part of the company's ongoing efforts to expand its manufacturing presence beyond China amid geopolitical uncertainties.

The iPhone maker has been mass producing its Apple Watch in Thailand for more than a year, says Nikkei Asia's report. 

As per the report, Apple suppliers involved in the talks already have manufacturing complexes in Thailand for other clients. They are now discussing possible assembly and production of components and modules for MacBooks.

"Ideally, Apple asked us to set up facilities in Vietnam for MacBooks, following in the footsteps of other Apple suppliers, but we offered an alternative option of building the product at our Thailand plants, which still have a massive space that can be reserved for the client," a senior executive at one of the suppliers told Nikkei Asia. "As MacBook assembly will begin in Vietnam first, we could support the components from our Thailand plants, too. ... It will only take two to three days of logistics and custom clearance."

While another supplier said it is building new plants in Thailand for Apple. Construction of a new factory for MacBooks and other products will be completed this year, it added. An executive at the third supplier said the company has set up a trial production line for MacBooks in Thailand, but the company is also looking for a plot of land in Vietnam as a backup plan.

The U.S. tech giant will reportedly begin mass production of MacBooks in Vietnam in the first half of this year. 

Apple has gradually moved some production capacity for AirPods, the Apple Watch, iPads and MacBooks to northern Vietnam in recent years. The number of Apple suppliers in the country increased to 25 in 2021 from 14 in 2018, when the trade war started escalating, according to Nikkei Asia's analysis of the company's official list of suppliers.

However, shifting production from China will not be easy for Apple and it suppliers as they have spent decades building a massive supply chain in the country. But the geopolitical tensions have forced the iPhone maker to rethink its supply chain show few signs of easing.

Thailand is also an emerging beneficiary of the U.S.-China trade war, with many server, data center, printer and automotive suppliers setting up factories in the country since 2018.

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Published: 13 Apr 2023, 11:26 AM IST
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