A huge contributor to the massive boom of the smartwatch industry in the last decade or so, the Apple Watch, as things stand, is arguably the most feature-rich smartwatch in the market.
And, along with the endless list of premium features (such as a heart arrhythmia detector or blood oxygen monitor), comes quite a hefty price tag. For example, the newest Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to cost you around $500 (and the predecessor, Apple Watch Series 6, isn’t far behind).
With such price tags at stake, many people often wonder – where are Apple watches manufactured?
The interesting thing about Apple Watches is that, despite being one of the most popular smartwatches in the market, not many people know where they come from. In this article, we will help clear all the doubts on this subject.
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Where Are Apple Watches Made?
Considered one of the biggest tech companies in the world and headquartered in California, US, Apple Inc. has been in the business of consumer electronics for quite a while now.
Because of the brand’s worldwide cult status and its US origins, many people assume that Apple Watches are made in the USA. However, that is not the case. Or at least, not in 100%.
While Apple Watches are indeed designed and programmed in the US by the very best engineers in the country, the brand outsources the production of all its products (including the Apple Watch) to different countries in Asia. This business tactic is referred to as ‘contract manufacturing and it’s a fairly common practice in the tech industry.
Since the release of the first Apple Watch in 2015, the manufacturing process of the collection has been taking place, for the most part, in China. However, lately, it’s been reported that Apple plans to move a bigger chunk of production to Taiwan and Vietnam. This is to avoid the so-called deglobalization (a movement towards a less connected world, characterized by powerful nation-states, eg. China).
The first major step confirming the above news was the beginning of the partnership with Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company.
As of now, the Apple Watch is assembled in several factories across China, Taiwan, and Vietnam by two different companies – Foxconn and Quanta Computer. While these are the main manufacturers, there are also a few other suppliers that help with the production as well.
The advantages of contract manufacturing for tech companies are many. For example, it’s usually cheaper to produce electronics in Asia (specifically in China) than in developed countries like the US. Additionally, most of the world’s biggest suppliers of electronic components are also based in Asia, which makes it easier and more efficient to source the necessary materials.
When it comes to Apple Watches, production is a highly complex and labor-intensive process that involves putting together hundreds of tiny components. Because of that, it’s believed that each watch takes around 4.5 hours to assemble.
The final step in the manufacturing process is quality control. Once the watch is fully assembled, it goes through a series of tests conducted by both humans and robots. Only the watches that pass these tests with flying colors are shipped to Apple’s warehouses around the world and end up in the stores (or, these days, online).
Designed by Apple in California – Assembled in China: Meaning
You can rest assured that your Apple Watch bearing the engraving “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China” is original. This is a standard engraving on most Apple Watch models. It means that the design and engineering of the watch took place in California (USA), while the actual manufacturing was done in China.
The phrase “Assembled in China” is required by law to be printed on products that are manufactured there, as per the country’s rules.
More About Apple Watches
Now that we know where Apple Watches are made, it’s time to take a closer look at the product itself.
As mentioned before, the first Apple Watch was released in 2015 and since then, the company has come out with six more generations of the smartwatch. The most recent one is Series 7, which was announced in October 2021.
Each generation of the watch introduces new and improved features, design changes, and hardware upgrades. However, the overall look and feel of the product have stayed pretty much the same since day one.
The current freshest lineup includes three different versions of the watch – the Apple Watch Series 7, and the Apple Watch SE.
The Series 7 is the most expensive and feature-rich option, while the SE is a more budget-friendly alternative that still offers most of the features that people love about the Apple Watch.
Considered the biggest competitor of the Apple Watch series is Samsung Galaxy Active smartwatch collection.
Because of its incredible number of different functions, the Apple Watch has been listed in many “best of” guides on our website, including top ECG smartwatches, top standalone smartwatches, or best smartwatches for seniors.
Where Are Apple Watches Manufactured? FAQ
Now that we have covered the basics of Apple Watches’ origin, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions related to the subject. Find them all below!
Are Apple watches made in China or Vietnam?
Most Apple Watches are still assembled in China, but the company has been moving more and more production to Taiwan and Vietnam in recent years.
Are other Apple products made in China?
Yes, a large number of Apple products are still made in China. However, the company has been diversifying its manufacturing base and moving some of its production to other countries, such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Is Apple moving its production out of China?
Slowly but surely, yes. In 2019, Apple announced that it would move production of its Mac Pro computers from China to Austin, Texas. Additionally, the company has been shifting some of its iPhone production to India and Brazil. For Apple Watches, the current alternatives are Taiwan and Vietnam.
What Apple products are made in the USA?
Currently, the only Apple products that are made in the USA are certain Mac Pro models and the new Apple TV.
Are Apple products made in California?
No, none of Apple’s products are made in California. Only the designing process takes place there, while the actual manufacturing is done in other countries.
Who makes the Apple Watch?
Two main companies are responsible for the assembly of Apple Watches – Foxconn and Quanta Computer. There are also a few other suppliers that help with the production as well.
How long do Apple Watches last?
Apple Watches have a pretty good lifespan, with most users getting around 3-4 years of use out of them before upgrading to a newer model. However, there have been some reports of the battery life declining significantly after 2 years.
With that said, be prepared for daily charging if you want to use your Apple Watch to its full potential.