Apple faced a host of initial iPhone 14 sales setbacks due to a COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent riots at Apple’s largest Chinese factory, the company has strategised not to face such pitfalls again. With the aim of decentralising its supply chain from China, Apple is investing heavily in producing the new iPhone 15 in India.
What Happened? Apple aims to manufacture 15 million iPhone 15 units in India this year, states a Nikkei report. Previously, India lagged one year behind China in new iPhone production, but in 2022, the gap shrunk to about a month. This year, the aim is to further trim this delay to less than 10 days.
Historically, China has been responsible for 95% of iPhone production since the debut of the first model in 2007. Now, Apple is looking to shift at least 20% of iPhone 15 production to India, shifting away from the “Assembled in China” tag.
Apple’s plans for India include not just assembly, but also the creation of intermediate components such as metal casings. In addition, the company wants to migrate some iPhone product development resources from China to India, indicating the potential development of new labs and the involvement of thousands of engineers.
Why the shift? This shift is fueled by several factors. Firstly, with strained US-China relations and the Biden administration forming closer ties with India, Apple sees potential benefits. Secondly, India, expected to house a billion smartphone users by 2026, could become Apple’s next big market after China.
The unveiling of the iPhone 15 is expected next month, and how well India can keep pace with China in a simultaneous launch remains to be seen. Over time, this move could significantly boost India’s iPhone production.
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