In the latest blow to big business in China, Apple is in the process of shifting some of its best selling device production to Taiwan.
A direct result of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, production of popular Apple devices such as AirPod Pro Lite, iPads and Apple Watches are said to be affected.
The move of AirPod Pro Lite production is notable as this device has yet to be released to the global market, and while some sources say the device could be released at the end of March, no official announcement has been made by the company.
At present iPhone production will remain in China.
The main motivating factor behind Apple’s move is believed to be a heavy dependency on parts produced by Taiwanese multinational Foxconn who have had their own issues operating in China as COVID-19 continues to affect the business sector across the nation.
Only last week Foxconn rebuffed a Reuters report on the company being set to resume business in China stating “Recently, Reuters reports on the group’s overall resumption schedule for the mainland China plants are not factual, and Hon Hai hereby clarifies it.” (Foxconn is the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry)
Speculation on Apple moving production from China to Taiwan dates back to June, 2019, when Foxconn founder Terry Gou urged Apple to consider a move to producing some of its devices at factories in Taiwan amidst what was then the early days of the US-China trade war, and talk of 25% trade tariffs with China.