Apple begins manufacturing iPhone 14 in India ahead of schedule

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Apple has finally begun assembling its new iPhone 14 in India, the company announced on Monday. With this, the US technology giant is looking to shift some production away from the Chinese mainland.

Apple has started the production of its newly launched iPhone 14 series in India ahead of schedule. The announcement came less than three weeks after the new iPhone 14’s unveiling.

“The new iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking new technologies and important safety capabilities. We’re excited to be manufacturing iPhone 14 in India,” Apple confirmed in a statement.

The company’s global partner Foxconn is manufacturing the device in the Sriperumbudur facility situated on the outskirts of Chennai. The locally manufactured iPhone units will go on sale in the country later this year.

The company had started assembling its smartphones in India in 2017 but had only been manufacturing older generation handsets. Reports say that Apple is planning to move 25 percent of its entire iPhone production to India by 2025.

Apple’s move away from China

The US technology giant had been long manufacturing its products in China. The company is forced to look for an alternative option because of the escalating geopolitical tension between the US and Chinese governments.

The zero-covid policy implied by China has caused a halt in production at factories across China. Lockdowns imposed on various parts of China by Xi Jinping’s administration have caused a shortage of supply. This has led to disrupted economic activity, which Apple wants to find a solution to.

Apple has been trying to ramp up production by working with Indian units to cope with the shortage in supply from China.

The company’s recent manufacturing shift to India also highlights the tech giant’s desire to boost its customer count in India. However, Apple still relies heavily on China for the majority of its iPhone production. 

But the US-based company seems to enjoy a strong momentum in India which would certainly help them in establishing a strong market in the country.

Share in the Indian market

Meanwhile, Apple has just a 3.8 percent market share in India, as Samsung and Xiaomi continue to dominate the Indian market. However, Apple was the top-selling ultra-premium segment brand in the second quarter of this year.

In the second quarter of 2022, Apple has already sold more than 1.2 million iPhones in India, recording a 94% year-on-year (YoY) growth, as reported by CyberMedia Research (CMR). Apple said that its revenue almost doubled in India in the June quarter of 2022. 

“We saw June quarter revenue records in both developed and emerging markets with very strong double-digit growth in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam and a near doubling of revenue in India,” Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook said. 

Apple begins manufacturing iPhone 14 in India ahead of schedule
Image Source-Apple

India has been trying to make moves to make the country a manufacturing hub. The offering of lucrative subsidies has attracted major investors from all over the globe. Apple’s manufacturing partners Foxconn and Wistron have been majorly interested in establishing manufacturing units in India in recent years.

“The presence of the foreign production giants, coupled with ample labor resources and competitive labor costs, make India a desirable location,” JP Morgan analysts said.

“India’s iPhone supply chain has historically supplied only legacy models. Interestingly, Apple has requested that EMS vendors manufacture iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India in 4Q22, within two to three months of the start of production in Mainland China. The much shorter interval implies the increasing importance of India production and likely higher iPhone allocations to India manufacturing in the future,” the report said.

“We believe Apple only produces iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India now due to the more complex camera module alignment of the iPhone Pro series (done by EMS vendors) and higher local market demand for the iPhone 14 series (tax savings). We expect the volume to start small in 4Q22 (~1M units per month, or 5% of total iPhone volume).”

Apple begins manufacturing iPhone 14 in India ahead of schedule
Image Source-9to5Mac

Other tech companies also making a move

Samsung has been drawing away its manufacturing units from China for a long time. The South Korean tech company has been making devices in India since 2007. They also opened up the world’s largest smartphone manufacturing unit in India in 2018.

After Apple’s move away from China, Google is also looking to move some of its manufacturing hubs outside of the Chinese mainland. The company is reportedly planning on shifting the production of its Pixel smartphone series to India or Vietnam.

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Akshay Bhatt
Akshay Bhatt
Akshay hails from Rishikesh, the majestic land in the foothills of the Himalayas. He's a poet at heart and spills it all out on his blog. He grew up loving literature and history and was always interested in technology and worldly affairs. At Asiana Times, he brings his interest in sports and technology to light.

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