The COVID-19 virus is on the verge of being declared a pandemic and companies are scrambling to move their production out of China. Luckily for Google they invested in a manufacturing plant in Vietnam just a year or so ago — you know the one, the one where we saw all the leaks from, the one which supplied their local stores with Pixel 4 smartphones to sell weeks before release date.
Google had better hope they have plugged that leak because reports are suggesting that Google is looking to shift the production of its next two Pixel lines to the factory in Vietnam. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Google will be moving production, beginning in April to this factory in northern Vietnam.
The Pixel 4a is expected to begin production in April, which gives it six weeks before we see it released at Google I/O — assuming Google sticks to the same timeline as they did last year. As part of this Google is thinking about moving some of its production equipment from China to Vietnam but are first determining the feasibility and cost of doing so.
Google is also looking to produce its smart home products out of Vietnam according to the report with the first products from this factory expected to arrive in the first half of this year.
Google has been planning on moving some manufacturing out of China ever since the trade negotiations between the US and China broke down but it is unsure whether they will move ALL manufacturing out of there and see Vietnam more as a fail-safe — originally for trade bans but now obviously to be able to actually product products away from the epicentre of the COVID-19 virus.
Let’s hope that Google have the leaks all sorted out at the Vietnamese factory this year as I’d love to have some surprises come that day in October at the Made By Google event. It will be interesting to see how much Pixel 4a information is leaked from Vietnam before mid-May — this will be indicative of their success in stopping the leaks.