Yoodley is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
It is no secret that Apple has been trying to become less reliant on China. However, there are reasons why this is a difficult move for Apple. According to The Wall Street Journal, one of the major reasons is the Chinese company Luxshare, which is about to hold more significant roles for iPhone production in the future.
Luxshare is now one of the most important manufacturers of Apple after shifting from the cables and connector business to earphones and camera modules to MacBooks and Apple Watch to iPhones and Vision Pro. Grace Wang or Wang Laichun, who started as a Foxconn production line worker and founded Luxshare, led the company to this success and to a secured position in Apple’s business.
Aside from handling even the iPhone 15 production, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed recently that the company is also set to take Apple’s “new product introduction” for iPhones. This means Apple would soon order Luxshare to turn its product designs and prototypes into manufacturing plans. While this role is currently owned by Foxconn in general, this responsibility (alongside its current deal to assemble the Vision Pro headset) would soon further fortify Luxshare’s importance to Apple.
These roles, nonetheless, aren’t the only ones that make it hard for Apple to move its manufacturing business away from China. According to WSJ, it is the expertise of the workforce the country has.
“It really is what some people call the ecosystem of companies in China,” WSJ Tokyo bureau chief Peter Landers Peter Landers explained. “It’s not just Luxshare or Foxconn, but all the suppliers to them, the people who know how to make an iPhone. It’s a huge challenge to make these products.”
Moreover, given the number of Apple products Luxshare is handling and is about to take in the future, the company has become an extremely valuable manufacturer for Apple to give up.
“Luxshare also assembles the AirPods, this tiny little piece of electronics that you put in your ear has hundreds of parts,” Landers added. “It’s a very delicate process and it’s not just brute force or having hundreds of thousands of workers at peak times, although they do have that. It’s also the experts on the assembly line who know how to make a high-quality product that doesn’t cost all that much when you consider the amount of technology that’s packed into it. And so, recreating that ecosystem in another country, whether it be Vietnam or India, is not easy.”
Apparently, this all sounds unfavorable for Apple in the long run, especially in these current times when the US and China are still experiencing political friction. And with the Chinese government pushing local device and tech patronage among its people, Apple might encounter issues if it chooses to continuously entrust the majority of its device manufacturing business to the Asian country. As mentioned above, however, moving away from China is a huge challenge, making Apple’s fate greatly reliant on the hands of political forces.