For the first time Apple is allocating product development resources for the iPad to Vietnam, reports Nikkei Asia.
The article says this is “a major step toward strengthening the Southeast Asian country’s position as an alternative manufacturing hub outside of China.” Apple is purportedly working with China’s BYD, a key iPad assembler, to move new product introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam.
NPI involves a tech company like Apple collaborating with suppliers on the design and development of new products to make sure the blueprints are doable. Engineering verification for test production of an iPad model will start around mid-February next year, sources told Nikkei Asia. The model will be available in the second half of next year.
Apple working with BYD in Vietnam is the latest development regarding production in the country. In April the Vietnamese government said Apple supplier Quanta Computer plans to invest about US$120 million to set up a factory in northern Vietnam, according to Reuters.
The article says the company signed an agreement with the authorities of Nam Dinh province, 56 miles south of Hanoi, to construct the facility at an industrial park there. The facility, which would be Quanta’s 9th factory globally, would initially cover an area of 22.5 hectares. No time frame has been announced for the construction.
Apple contractor Foxconn also its eye on Vietnam. The company signed a lease with Saigon-Bac Giang Industrial Park Corp to occupy a plot of 45 hectares (111 acres) for around US$62.5 million to meet “operational needs and expand production capacity”, according to an exchange filing in February.
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today