Apple will kick off the development of its iPhone 17 in India by the latter half of 2024. This marks the first instance of a New Product Introduction (NPI) commencing outside China, reveals Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
What’s gone down so far? Apple will spearhead this initiative in collaboration with contract manufacturers, namely Foxconn (Hon Hai), Pegatron, and the recently onboarded Tata Group, which bought Wistron’s production lines for a whopping $135 million. This strategic shift underscores Apple’s intent to diversify its supply chain.
Kuo also highlighted Apple’s plans to reduce its reliance on Foxconn’s facilities in Zhengzhou and Taiyuan, China, by 35-45% and 75-85% respectively by 2024. He attributes this shift not only to the expansion in India but also to Luxshare’s growing iPhone order allocations and advancements in production automation.
Interestingly, Apple has opted for the standard iPhone model for this venture, given its straightforward design, minimizing potential risks. Kuo optimistically notes, “If the transition is seamless, we could see iPhones manufactured in India accounting for 20–25% of the global market by 2024.”
Laying the groundwork: Last year, India contributed to 12-14% of global iPhone shipments, with Foxconn dominating the production capacity in the country.
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Apple’s alliance with Tata Electronics, which took over Wistron's operations on October 27, signifies the integration of an Indian entity into Apple’s supply chain. Kuo believes this partnership will bolster Apple’s rapport with the Indian government, paving the way for increased iPhone sales in the country and fueling Apple’s growth trajectory in the coming decade.
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