Apple reportedly considers moving 30% of all iPhone production out of China
iPhones could be produced elsewhere if the US-China trade war escalates.
Corinne ReichertSenior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Apple has asked its suppliers to look into the possibility of shifting final assembly of some products out of China, according to report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The iPhone maker is looking into moving "up to around a third of the production for some devices" to other countries, including locations in Southeast Asia, the Journal reported.
China said back in May that it would impose a 25% tariff on US goods in retaliation against President Donald Trump's plan to increase tariffs on products imported from China. Analysts have forecast the cost of
to increase by up to 14% as a result, though in June Apple CEO Tim Cook said he's not expecting that..
"The Chinese have not targeted Apple at all, and I don't anticipate that happening, to be honest," Cook said. "I'm hoping that doesn't happen ... the truth is, the iPhone is made everywhere. It's made everywhere. And so, a tariff on the iPhone would hurt all of those countries, but the one that would be hurt the most is this one."
Citing "several people," Nikkei reported Wednesday that Apple wants to rely less heavily on China for its
even if another Chinese tariff doesn't hit, however.
"With or without the final round of the $300 billion tariff, Apple is following the big trend [to diversify production]," one person reportedly told Nikkei.
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Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, can make enough iPhones to meet the needs of Apple's US market outside China, according to Bloomberg. Foxconn semiconductor division chief Young Liu reportedly told investors earlier in June that 25% of its production capacity is outside the mainland.