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Apple's iPad development moves from China to Vietnam

Apple's iPad Pro

Apple is reportedly moving key engineering resources to Vietnam, which will now be involved in iPad development as well as production.

Apple moved at least a significant proportion of iPad production from China to Vietnam in June 2022, and had been planning to do so for over a year beforehand.

According to Nikkei Asia, Apple is now working to move what's called New Product Introduction (NPI) development to Vietnam. It's a significant move away from China, but it's being done in conjunction with Chinese iPad manufacturer BYD.

Nonetheless, Nikkei Asia says it's the first time that Apple has allocated NPI resources for such a key product. NPI development means Apple will be working closely with BYD to test designs and find manufacturing issues.

It means both companies will have engineers on site, and there will also be lab testing of the new device.

Reportedly, one iPad that will be developed there is expected to enter its engineering verification tests in mid-February 2024. It's then believed that the model will be released in the second half of the year.

Apple's moves to take production away from China are based in part on the need to prevent over-reliance on a single source. China's strict zero-tolerance policies regarding COVID, and its energy supply problems, have delayed Apple's manufacturing.

There is also, though, the continuing situation with US/China trade tensions.