Apple’s plan to diversify its supply chain and reduce reliance on China hasn’t been completely smooth sailing as far as iPhone manufacturing in India is concerned.
What Happened? Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India back in 2017 beginning with the more affordable iPhones at the time. Now that the Cupertino giant makes flagship models through Indian suppliers too, the company appears to be running into a number of smaller hurdles that have slowed down Apple’s expansion process in the country, per a Financial Times report.
The report reflects on the fact that Apple’s list of issues at hand in India ranges from logistics, tariffs, and infrastructure bottlenecks, to getting the staff trained quickly enough to ensure better yield with components such as casings.
FT’s sources also claim that a reason behind the slow pace of progress is a lack of “sense of urgency” when compared to how eager Chinese suppliers and government officials were when it came to securing orders for the iPhone from Apple.
Per a report by CNBC back in January, Apple intends to produce as many as 1 in every 4 new iPhones in India in 2023.
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With plans to launch four new iPhone models this fall, Apple has also likely begun an early iPhone 15 production run with its supplier Foxconn, in a bid to have its India production lines up to speed with its manufacturing units in China.
That said, analysts continue to state that India's potential for Apple is massive. Global consultancy Bain estimates that manufacturing exports from India could more than double from $418 billion (₹34,60,048 crore) in 2022 to more than $1 trillion (₹82,77,628 crore) in 2028.
In addition to the iPhone production, Apple has also already begun producing components for AirPods in the country. Per a recent report, Jabil Inc. has begun shipping AirPods enclosures or plastic bodies from India to China and Vietnam, where the wireless earbuds are assembled.
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