Apple boosts iPhone production in India as it eyes reduction of reliance on China

    Apple Inc. has significantly increased production of iPhones in India, assembling more than $7 billion (roughly Rs. 57,396 crores) worth of the device in the country last fiscal year. The tech giant now produces almost 7 per cent of its iPhones in the country, according to a Bloomberg report. This is a significant leap for India, which only accounted for an estimated 1 per cent of the world’s iPhones in 2021.

    In FY23, India made ‘iPhones’ export crossed a record $5 billion (Rs 4500 crores). Reportedly, the tech giant clocked 50 per cent share with the export of ‘made in India’ iPhones.

    Apple is exploring ways to reduce its dependence on China after the chaos at Foxconn’s main “iPhone City” complex in Zhengzhou highlighted vulnerabilities in Apple’s supply chain, forcing the company to cut output estimates. Also, this move comes amid geopolitical tensions that continue to escalate between Washington and Beijing.

    The tech giant has been pushing its suppliers to ramp up production locally in India, successfully lobbying for incentives and exploring ways to reduce its exposure to China’s dominance in the technology supply chain. It has pushed suppliers Foxconn, Wistron Corp., and Pegatron to ramp up production locally. The trio, which together employ some 60,000 workers in India, make models ranging from the aging iPhone 11 to the latest iPhone 14 in the country.

    The migration of iPhone production to India represents a significant economic triumph for the country, with implications for other US brands planning their futures.

    As part of its efforts to expand local production, Apple has also sought changes in India’s labor laws and plans to open its first two retail stores in the country next week. With the rising importance of the domestic market, CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to fly in to personally inaugurate the two stores.

    The Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s move to ramp up production in India is a significant step in diversifying its manufacturing footprint outside of China. By 2025, if the aggressive expansion of its suppliers continues, Apple could assemble a quarter of all its iPhones in India.

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    Anubha Pandey




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