"With or without the final round of the $300 billion tariff, Apple is following the big trend [to diversify production]", giving itself more flexibility, the person added.
The report cites several unnamed sources with "knowledge of the situation", though it's unclear if any of those people work at Apple or its major contractors for the assembly of iPhones and iPads like Foxconn. Furthermore, most of Apple's products will still be made in China, the report notes. "Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors". However, Apple reportedly wants to shift production regardless of whether the trade dispute gets resolved.
Apple is asking the federal government to leave the iPhone out of President Donald Trump's trade war with China.Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesIn a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer published Thursday (June 20), the company said the tariffs, which have been bumped up to 25%, would affect the iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, Apple TV and accessories for those devices, and would "weigh on Apple's global competitiveness".
Furthermore, the predominant Apple products assembling companies that include - Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and also Inventec have been asked to evaluate the options outside of China, according to sources familiar with the matter in the report suggests.
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Outside of China, Apple is nearly undoubtedly spoilt for choice. The Nikkei Asian Review says the iPhone maker is exploring the idea of moving up to 30 percent of its suppliers' production capacity from China to Southeast Asia.
Wedbush Securities says it would take at least two to three years for Apple to move 15% of its iPhone production from China to other regions.
Nikkei says that Apple expanded its capital expense studies team at the end of 2018. Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo's request for comment Wednesday morning.
Besides Malaysia, the Japanese financial daily reported sources as saying that the United States handphone maker is also considering relocating its plants to other South-east Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as India and Mexico.