Apple and several smartphone manufacturers have long contemplated moving their production facilities outside China. Apple even moved a vast portion of their upcoming iPhone 14’s production to India. It seems Google will be taking a leaf out of Apple’s playbook and will start moving the production of the upcoming Pixel 7 device out of China.
A recent New York Times report suggests that Google will be moving a part of its newest Pixel phone production to Vietnam, where it already has a facility that manufactures the Pixel 4a, 5a, and 6a.
Google has started looking at alternatives to the Foxconn factories it uses in southern China, mainly due to increased tariffs. China’s factory shutdowns, rising geopolitical tensions with India and especially Taiwan, and its harsh COVID lockdowns can also be the reason. Apple, too, had to move most of its production facilities away from China for the same reasons.
For the time being, only a portion, about 20-25 percent of all Pixel 7 devices, will be made in Vietnam, while a vast majority of the devices will still be made in China. However, with the next series of devices, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, at least 50 percent of the devices will be made outside China, preferably in Vietnam.
Things are a little different with Pixel’s foldable devices, however. Back in March, a report said that Google was postponing its foldable plans for 2022, which could be branded as the “Pixel Notepad.” It’s supposed to have an inner folding display and an external screen with a shape closer to the Oppo Find N than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold.
Newer, more complicated manufacturing processes still require China as it has a robust supply chain network, especially regarding foldable displays and hinges used in smartphones.
That is why Pixel Notepad’s manufacturing process will be developed in China. This is also why, for the foreseeable future, Google’s Pixel Notepads will be made in China. Over a few years, the production may be moved to other countries.