Apple is allocating product development resources for iPad to Vietnam, Nikkei reported on Friday, citing sources briefed on the matter.
Apple is working with China's BYD, a key iPad assembler, to move new product introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam, the report said, adding that this is the first time the company has shifted NPI resources to Vietnam for such a core device.
Engineering verification for test production of an iPad model will start around mid-February and the model will be available in the second half of next year, it said.
Apple and BYD did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.
Apple suppliers including Luxshare and Foxconn also invested in the Southeast Asian country earlier this year to further diversify production away from China.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Japanese electronic parts maker TDK Corp will manufacture lithium ion (li-ion) battery cells for Apple iPhone models in India.
Apple has been touting India as its next big growth driver as it looks to move some production away from China.
It began assembling iPhone models in the country in 2017 through Wistron and later Foxconn, and has a total of 14 suppliers in India.
TDK will set up a manufacturing facility in the northern state of Haryana, creating several thousand new jobs, Deputy Minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Last month, Chinese e-commerce platforms including PDD Holdings' Pinduoduo and Alibaba's Taobao offered deep discounts on Apple's latest iPhone 15 series, with some selling models up to CNY 900 ($123 or roughly Rs. 10,229) below the retail price.
Analysts say the iPhone 15 has not been selling as well in China as its predecessor. Counterpoint Research said that iPhone 15 sales in China were down 4.5 percent versus the iPhone 14 in the first 17 days after its market launch.
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