Apple is wanting to prevent itself before the trade war between Donald Trump and China splashes into it.
According to economist Nikkei, the Cupertino giant has commissioned studies from a number of partners participating in its production chain to quote costs if iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and AirPods can be manufactured outside China. Some companies already working on these calculations are Foxconn, Pegatron, Inventec, Compal, and Quanta.
Today 90% of iPhones are assembled in China, and Apple would expect to move 15-30% of that production to other countries. For that, he would also be having conversations with governments seeking tax incentives. Still, according to the newspaper, Mexico, Indonesia, and Malaysia would be in her goals. India and Vietnam would be a plan B.
This idea, however, should not gain materiality in the short term: one of the suppliers explains that something like this can take up to three years to be implemented since even after defining a new space for production, assemble all equipment and make the line production work properly can take 18 months.
Curiously, the Nikkei points out that even if Trump and Xi Jiping reach a peace agreement she will stick to that idea.
Tim Cook would have sensed that it is not good to focus on the production of the Apple ecosystem on a single region, however attractive it may be. Unpredictable political problems do not compensate for the centralization of production, and so fragmenting it must even be a long-term goal of the company.