The escalating tariff slap-fight between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China is messing with so many bottom lines that the only people playing the market and making bank are those with companies that make red ink in their portfolios. Even Apple, a company that pretty much prints its own damn money, isn't immune. In a week where Chinese telecom and computing giant Huawei declared that they'd be making billions less than forecasted, signs that the fruit flavored phone floggers may be looking to shift their operations away from mainland China have cropped up.
From the Nikkei Asian Review:
Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.
The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.
The Nikkei Asian Review goes on to talk up the fact that a slowing birthrate, concerns over dependency on centralized production in one locale and rising labor costs are a part of driving Apple's wandering industrial eyes to look on over yonder.
Oh, and you know, the potential to lose billions in dirty, filthy lucre to tariffs.
With phone, tablet and laptop sales slumping for the Cupertino-based hardware peddlers, it shouldn't be a huge surprise to see the company looking for ways to keep costs as low as possible and find new revenue streams. Over the past few years, this search has led to TV sets with AirPlay baked into them and Apple Music on Android devices and, miracles of miracles, mouse compatibility for the iPad. I'm crossing my fingers for iMessage on Windows computers, next.
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