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New Job Postings Reignite Rumors of Apple's Vietnam Expansion

Over the past few days, Apple fans in Vietnam have been abuzz with speculation after the tech giant posted numerous new job postings based in the country.

From late last year until now, Apple has updated the career section on its website with a dozen positions to be based in Vietnam. At the time of writing, the American tech company is seeking to fill three positions based in Ho Chi Minh City and nine in Hanoi, ranging from technical staff and managers to sales-related roles.

Some have taken the recruitment notices to mean that the company is looking into establishing both an official retail presence and a manufacturing facility in Vietnam, judging by the listed roles in sales and supply chain. One position of note is a Hanoi-based senior manager in government affairs, posted in December last year, prompting fans to think that a representative office in the capital might be in the works.

A report by market research company GfK, published earlier this year, shows that Apple currently holds 6.8% of Vietnam’s smartphone market, compared to Samsung’s 30.1% and Oppo’s 22.4%.

Apple products, thanks to their premium price tag, are commonly seen as a symbol of wealth among Vietnam’s prestige-conscious phone users. They are much more popular in urban areas, though second-hand iPhones comprise a lucrative market across the country, as more Vietnamese wish to own an Apple item while on a budget.

Despite its products’ popularity in Vietnam, Apple hasn’t established any official stores in Vietnam to date; Thailand, on the other hand, saw the opening of one in 2018. To buy an off-the-shelf Apple product, Vietnamese can only get it from authorized resellers or as “hàng xách tay,” a Vietnamese term for goods purchased from abroad and brought back via travelers.

As more tech manufacturers shift major operations from China to other Asian nations like Vietnam, it wouldn’t be a surprising move if Apple follows suit, as some of its suppliers already make their products in Vietnam.

Zing reports that GoerTek, an Apple partner, is producing AirPods in Vietnam, while a Bloomberg article published in January 2020 says that Pegatron Corps, a Taiwanese Apple partner, is looking to set up a production facility in the country soon.

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