Apple Triples iPhone Production in India, Boosts Market Presence
Amid efforts to reduce reliance on China, Apple shifted focus to India's flourishing domestic market with the opening of two new retail stores, showcasing the country's rising significance.
Thursday April 13, 2023,
3 min Read
A recent report from Bloomberg says that Apple has tripled iPhone production in India, assembling over $7 billion worth of iPhones in the last fiscal year, making the country a crucial player in the global smartphone industry.
Apple has been actively seeking ways to reduce its dependence on China amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing. The company's long-time partners, such as Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Corp., have expanded their assembly lines at a rapid pace in the past year. As a result, nearly 7% of iPhones are now manufactured in India, a significant increase from the 1% estimated in 2021.
The challenges faced by Apple last year in Foxconn's main "iPhone City" complex in Zhengzhou exposed the vulnerabilities in the company's supply chain, prompting Apple to explore other avenues. Concurrently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been offering incentives to encourage local manufacturing.
Out of the total production, Apple exported $5 billion worth of iPhones in the year ended March 2023, almost four times more than the previous period. It is also speculated that Apple may simultaneously manufacture its next iPhone models in India and China, starting in fall 2023. If the aggressive expansion of Apple's suppliers persists, the company could assemble a quarter of all its iPhones in India by 2025.
Before the iPhone City incident, Apple had already acknowledged the necessity of diversifying its supply chain. Consequently, the company lobbied for incentives in India and urged suppliers Foxconn, Wistron Corp., and Pegatron to increase their local production. These suppliers, collectively employing around 60,000 workers in India, manufacture a range of iPhone models, from the iPhone 11 to the latest iPhone 14.
Apple's shift toward India has placed the company at the center of the country's ambitions to become a major manufacturing hub and an alternative to China. The migration of iPhone production marks a significant economic victory for India, potentially influencing the strategies of other US brands.
As part of its efforts to expand local production and establish mega factories, Apple has also sought changes to India's labor laws. Foxconn, its largest contract manufacturer, plans to invest around $700 million in a plant in southern India to produce phone components and possibly iPhones. Representatives from Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron have yet to comment on the matter.
Apple will open its first two retail stores in India next week, one in the financial hub of Mumbai and another in the capital New Delhi. Chief Executive Tim Cook is scheduled to fly in to personally inaugurate the two stores, underscoring the domestic market’s rising importance.