Google Reportedly to Move Smartphone Production to Vietnam

Posted on August 28, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Music + Videos, Smart Home with 9 Comments

The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Google will move its smartphone manufacturing from China to Vietnam, and some of its other hardware production to Thailand.

“The push to develop a Vietnamese production base reflects the twin pressures of higher Chinese labor costs and the spiraling tariffs resulting from the trade war between Washington and Beijing,” the publication notes. “The U.S. internet giant intends to eventually move production of most of its American-bound hardware outside of China, including Pixel phones and its popular smart speaker, Google Home, according to the sources.”

Google’s hardware has never sold well, but the firm continues to believe it can grow, especially in the smartphone market. According to Nikkei, Google internally believes it can ship 8-10 million smartphones this year. That’s double the volume from 2018, when Google sold just 4.7 million smartphones. (And less than 1/20th the number of iPhones that Apple shipped in 2018.)

Google did get some good news this year, of course: It doubled smartphone sales in the second quarter thanks to the launch of the low-cost Pixel 3a lineup. And with companies like LG and Sony struggling and perhaps preparing to exit the market, there is an in for Google in the low-volume part of the market.

Nearly 70 percent of Google’s smartphone sales, and over 2/3 of its smart speaker sales, come from the United States.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Google Reportedly to Move Smartphone Production to Vietnam”

  1. lvthunder

    Maybe this will be a wake-up call to the Chinese that they come to an agreement with the US and end this trade war.

  2. solomonrex

    I'm not sure this is actually the outcome voters had in mind. Has Trump capitulated to China yet? How many rounds of golf does the Chinese premier have to play to seal the deal?

  3. frank_costanza

    It seems like common sense that companies would diversify their manufacturing operations...especially since China has never really been what I would consider a friendly gov't.

    I would love to see more manufacturing moved to Latin America which has both language and logistical advantages for the European and US markets.

  4. red.radar

    In reply to SvenJ:

    I think the administration should stay the course. Forcing companies to diversify their supply chain is paying dividends.

    Not to mention the president has found a way to regulate the economy without requiring the fed to hurt the poor by raising interest rates.

    I am ok if my chinese tech toys cost a little more. Consumers have options to mitigate tariffs. They have less flexibility when it comes to changes in how debt is serviced

  5. PeterC

    Personally I think Google’s pixel aspirations will require more than a new factory and component supply lines to have any chance of succeeding outside its home market in any meaningful numbers......

  6. codymesh

    Samsung is also making the Galaxy Note 10 in India. Times are a-changin

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