The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones, Nikkei said, citing sources who did not want to be identified as the discussions are private.
Last week, Foxconn said it had enough capacity outside China to meet Apple's demand in the American market if the company needed to adjust its production lines, as US
President Donald Trump threatened to slap further $300 billion tariffs on Chinese goods.
China is a key market for Apple
as well as a major production center for its devices.
A group of more than 30 people from Apple's capital expense studies team have been negotiating production plans with suppliers and governments over monetary incentives that could be offered to lure Apple
manufacturing, the report said.
A deadline has not been set for the suppliers to finalise their business proposals, Nikkei said, adding that it would take at least 18 months to begin production after choosing a location.
Apple and Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.