Apple is barely a month away from hosting its first-ever virtual press conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WWDC20 will be online and free for everyone and is expected to showcase the latest software innovations and hopefully some new hardware as well. Perhaps the items consumers are looking forward to seeing are the iPhone 12 series, AirTags, and AirPods Studio among others. After years of assembling its products mostly in China, the company might be moving a bulk of its operations to Vietnam.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Chinese manufacturing sector, tech industry pundits speculated huge shortages and delays. However, around February, supply chain insiders reported that Apple's top contractors were allegedly aggressively hiring to bolster its workforce. It was likely intended that the 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air would release in March, followed by the second-generation iPhone SE in April.
Earlier this month, renowned Apple insider Jon Prosser stated that the rumoured AirPods X was actually going to be introduced as AirPods Studio. He likewise noted that it will debut at WWDC20 along with more new offerings from the company. Now, 9to5Mac – which was credited for revealing several unannounced products data mined from a leaked copy of iOS 14 – claims it will be manufactured in Vietnam.
A source allegedly privy to internal communication within Apple shares the following details: "The move would be the first time Apple has used factories in Vietnam to produce an entirely new product, instead of relying on them to supplement manufacturing of an older model already produced in China. The company is working with contract manufacturers, who will also build some of the headphones in factories in China."
It also listed Luxshare and Goertek as the firms that will be overseeing production in Vietnam. It will then ship stocks to Apple late next month or early July. Reports pointed out that this appears to match what Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities stated about mass production starting in mid-2020.
The AirPods Studio is described as the brand's first over-ear headphones. Notable features include sensors that will detect its position to automatically pause or play audio. Moreover, it will purportedly allow users to personalise their units via magnetic headbands and earcups.