Some Apple AirPods Pro cases say the headphones were assembled in Vietnam, according to a Twitter user, several reports on the MacRumors forums, and a Verge employee who recently bought a pair, indicating that the company may be is less dependent on Chinese production (via MacRumors). Typically, AirPods Pro devices contain a message on the back of the case that the device was assembled in China.
Here is a photo of what the new message looks like:
Photo by Kara Verlaney / The Verge
Apple is known to assemble most of its products in China. However, the company has shown interest in diversifying its manufacturing operations and has even made significant foreign investments. This is partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing US-China trade war, which paid tribute to some Apple products and components and put pressure on CEO Tim Cook's lobbying with the Trump administration. As early as 2017, Apple started to assemble some iPhone models in India.
In February, for example, Apple issued a rare investor announcement that the global iPhone offering would be “temporarily restricted” as its manufacturing partners in China would rise again during the outbreak. Nikkei reported in July last year that Apple was considering relocating part of its production to Vietnam due to the trade war.
It is unclear what percentage of AirPods Pro will be made in Vietnam or whether Apple plans to make more products in the country. However, The Information reported Tuesday that a pair of unannounced over-ear headphones is expected to be manufactured in factories in Vietnam, although Apple will apparently also manufacture some of the headphones in China.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.