Apple made the move as a result of conflicts with the US and protracted lockdowns, which have led it to look for venues outside of China.
Apple Plan To Manufacture The iPhone 14 In India around two months after the product’s initial release outside of China, lowering but not bridging the gap between the two countries, as some had predicted.
According to people familiar with the situation, the company has been working with suppliers to scale up manufacturing in India and reduce the new iPhone production gap from the customary six to nine months for past launches. Apple, which has long manufactured the majority of its iPhones in China, is looking for alternatives as Xi Jinping’s administration conflicts with the US government and imposes nationwide lockdowns that have hindered economic activity.
Analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities Group believe Apple would ship the new iPhone from both nations at around the same time, which would be a significant milestone in Apple’s efforts to diversify its supply chain and build redundancy.
According to the people who asked not to be identified because the efforts are confidential, Foxconn Technology Group, the primary manufacturer of iPhones, studied the process of shipping components from China and assembling the iPhone 14 device at its plant outside the southern Indian city of Chennai. This included looking into solutions to maintain Apple’s strict secrecy standards.
Even if it remains a long-term objective, Apple and Foxconn eventually decided that launching simultaneously in China and India isn’t feasible this year. Following the initial September release, they predicted that the first iPhone 14s from India will likely be completed in late October or November. The Diwali festival, which starts on October 24, has been suggested as a lofty goal.
Apple’s spokesperson declined to comment. Apple is situated in Cupertino, California. Requests for comment from Foxconn were not promptly fulfilled.
Following Bloomberg’s first report, Redington India Ltd., which distributes Apple devices in the country, jumped as much as 9.5%.
Matching China’s iPhone production rate would have been a significant achievement for India, which has been advertising its desirability as an alternative at a time when rolling Covid lockdowns and US sanctions threaten China’s status as the world’s factory. Assembling iPhones frequently necessitates cooperation among hundreds of vendors as well as satisfying Apple’s infamously strict schedules and quality controls.
Some Apple and Foxconn employees wanted to start simultaneous manufacturing in India this year, but that was never an official plan. According to one of the sources, Apple wanted to focus on getting the China operations up and running first, then figure out the India manufacturing.
In 2017, Apple’s partners started producing iPhones in India, marking the beginning of a multi-year project to develop the nation’s manufacturing capacity. The 1.4 billion-person nation serves as a backup to its current operations and is a prospective consumer market. Additionally, the Modi administration has provided financial incentives for tech production through its Make in India programme.
Secrecy is one obstacle to lowering the production limit for India. Apple goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of new product information, so enforcing the same stringent regulations in another nation would be challenging.
According to two of the persons, local executives in India carefully considered completely fencing off a portion of one of Foxconn’s numerous production lines, secluding workers, and considering every potential method that the security surrounding the gadget could be hacked. One of the persons added that it would be difficult to recreate the strict security measures and isolation of its China sites at this time.
Apple has reportedly been concerned about another possible weakness for product secrecy: Indian customs officers, who typically inspect shipments to verify that imported materials match their declarations.
Supply-chain issues would have prevented a simultaneous launch, even if Apple and Foxconn had wanted to do so. Multiple waves of lockdowns in China, the country from where many iPhone components are sourced, have made it more difficult to move parts through the nation.
The tightly regulated procedures that Apple demands from suppliers haven’t been readily adapted by India’s workforce or plants. Since Apple started building iPhones in India through contract manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron Corp. five years ago, workers have revolted over Salaries and the Quality of food in two prominent incidents.