- Apple has been considering shifting up to a quarter of its global manufacturing to India
- The company’s suppliers currently have multiple assembly and production plants, all in South India
- Apple’s big iPhone refresh is expected later this year
Apple has ambitious plans to boost its production capabilities in India as a means of reducing its dependence on China, which is currently embroiled in a diplomatic dispute with the U.S. A new report by the Financial Times sheds light on the challenges faced by the iPhone maker as its suppliers look to expand their operations in the region.
Quoting a person with inside knowledge, FT reports that a Tata-run casings company based in South India only has 50% of the parts that can be sent to Foxconn, Apple’s primary supplier. The report further talks about challenges in terms of infrastructure and even logistics.
This could turn out to be a big headache for Apple, which has set big goals for the future. As Reuters notes, this may hamper the company’s plans to increase India’s production share from 5 – 7% to a whopping 25%, as stated last month by the Union Minister of Commerce and Trade, Piyush Goyal.
In addition to Foxconn, another global Apple supplier Pegatron also operates from Tamil Nadu, while Wistron is based in Karnataka. Finland-based charger supplier Salcomp is reportedly looking to expand its operations twofold in Tamil Nadu, with the potential to manage a workforce of up to 25,000. Despite the initial hurdles, Apple’s bet on Indian manufacturing could pay off in the long run, particularly with the government on its side.
Big things expected from the Apple iPhone 15
While Apple deals with local challenges in India, it is also preparing for the iPhone refresh later this year, succeeding the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and the iPhone 14 Pro/Max models. We’ve seen reports about a new Ultra variant of the iPhone to replace the current iPhone 14 Pro Max version, though we’ve also encountered reports contradicting this notion.
Regardless of the nomenclature Apple sticks with, the competition is only getting tougher. By the time Apple unveils the iPhone 15 series, Samsung would have most likely launched the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5, pushing the American manufacturer under pressure to dive into the foldable segment. While there have been multiple reports of Apple eventually releasing a foldable, it’s unlikely to happen this year.
Source: Financial Times (paywalled)