Though trade tensions might be the immediate catalyst behind Apple’s reported efforts to explore moving a meaningful portion of iPhone production out of China, they’re probably not the only factor at play.
From the looks of things, Apple’s openness to lowering its Chinese manufacturing exposure doesn’t simply stem from wanting to avoid any U.S. import tariffs that might be imposed in the near-term, but from more long-term, strategic considerations. Sources tell the Nikkei that Apple will push ahead with attempts to diversify its manufacturing locations even if the current trade dispute between the U.S. and China is resolved, and that Apple “has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising.”
…Other economic and demographic factors, such as China’s wage growth and aging workforce, might also be on Apple’s mind. It’s worth noting here that both India and Vietnam, the places said to be among the top candidates for shifting iPhone production, have lower factory wages than China.
MacDailyNews Take: ‘Tis prudent, of course, to not keep all of your eggs in one basket, as Apple clearly sees now.