In what is a major milestone in building a supply base outside of China for Apple devices, its imminent iPhone 14 will be shipped simultaneously from factories in China and India at launch. Up until now, iPhones, at the time of their launch, were mostly deployed at the factory of contract manufacturers in China.
This is the first time Apple has chosen to have iPhones come almost simultaneously from factories in China and India.
Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a tweet said (opens in new tab): “My latest research indicates that Foxconn’s iPhone production site in India will ship the new 6.1” iPhone 14 almost simultaneously with China for the first time in 2H22 (India is a quarter or more behind in the past).
In another tweet, Kuo said, “In the short term, India’s iPhone capabilities/shipments still have a considerable gap with China, but it’s a major milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone production site.”
India and Apple: Manufacturing base and main market
It’s clear, and Kuo also hinted at this, Apple is trying to reduce its dependence on China. The reasons for this are many, not least the growing tension between Washington and Beijing. In fact, Apple has been trying to build India as a second production base. But the two years of Covid, which wreaked considerable havoc in India, delayed Apple’s plans.
The presence of Taiwanese contract automaker Foxconn in China and India may have made things easier for Apple, as the transfer and exchange of technology and personnel could be carried out without a hitch. Foxconn in India has also been expanding its production capacity. It recently received government authorization to increase the workforce, which would help the company increase its manufacturing numbers. The government approved Apple’s request for de-notification of 40 acres inside Foxconn’s factory near Chennai, operating in the special economic zone (SEZ).
Foxconn has invested an additional $350 million in the unit to help build an exclusive production line for the Apple iPhone 13. In addition to the iPhone 13, the Sriperumbudur plant launches the iPhone XR, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models. Foxconn also has a drive in nearby Andhra Pradesh.
Foxconn, the world’s largest outsourced electronics maker, is Apple’s top maker of iPhones and has factories in many parts of the world besides India. Apple accounts for about 40% of the Taiwanese company’s total sales.
For Apple itself, India is a happy hunting ground as it sold over 1.2 million iPhones in India in the second quarter of this year, recording a massive 94% growth (year on year). Nearly 1 million of the total iPhones shipped were ‘Make in India’ devices.
Meanwhile, media reports claim that the iPhone 14 lineup includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Max, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 is also expected to be revealed in the second week of September.