Apple Inc plans to kick start making iPhone 14 in India as the US tech giant is looking for alternatives after rising woes between Washington and Beijing and Covid-19 lockdowns disrupting production in China.
According to a report in Bloomberg, the maker of the iPhone 14 has planned to start manufacturing in India after two months of its initial release in China.
The company has been working with suppliers to fast-pace production in India and shorten the lag in manufacturing new iPhones 14 from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
As per the report, Foxconn Technology, Apple’s Taiwan-based supplier, reportedly studied the process of shipping parts from China and assembling the iPhone 14 at its plant outside Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
iPhone 14 production in India is likely to be completed in late October or November, following the initial release in China in September and an ambitious target would be Diwali which begins on October 24, the report added.
While in the short term, India’s iPhone shipments still have a considerable gap with China, it is an important milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone production site.
The US-based company has been gradually ramping up the production of iPhones in India. Currently, its devices are manufactured in India by three contract manufacturers — Foxconn (Hon Hai), Wistron and Pegatron.
The three Apple partners are part of the Indian government’s production-linked incentive scheme for mobile manufacturing. They need to make products worth a minimum of Rs8,000 crore each this year to get the incentives.
India, Mexico and Vietnam are becoming increasingly important to contract manufacturers supplying the US brands as they try to diversify production away from China.
Last week, Nikkei Asia reported the US tech giant’s suppliers are in talks to produce Apple Watch and MacBook in Vietnam for the first time.