Apple said Monday that Apple will manufacture its iPhone 14 in India, as manufacturers shift production from China amid geopolitical tensions and pandemic restrictions that have disrupted supply chains for many industries.
“The new iPhone 14 lineup delivers groundbreaking new technologies and important security capabilities. We are excited to manufacture iPhone 14 in India,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple unveiled its latest iPhone lineup earlier this month. They’ll have improved cameras, faster processors, and longer-lasting batteries at the same prices as last year’s models.
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market after China, but Apple iPhone sales have struggled to capture a large market share against cheaper smartphones from competitors.
The announcement from California’s Cupertino company aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for domestic manufacturing, which has been a major goal of his government since he took office in 2014.
The tech company has bet a lot on India, which first started manufacturing the iPhone SE in 2017 and has since gone on to assemble a number of iPhone models. Apple opened its online store in India two years ago, but the pandemic has delayed plans for a flagship store in India, according to local media reports.
The latest model will be shipped by Foxconn Technology Limited, a major iPhone assembler whose facilities are located on the outskirts of Chennai, a city in southern India.
Apple is likely to shift about 5% of its iPhone 14 production to India from later this year, raising it to 25% by 2025, according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co report carried by the Press Trust of India.
Analysts expect nearly a quarter of all Apple products to be manufactured outside of China by 2025, compared to about 5% now. The report said that supply chain risks such as the strict shutdown of the COVID-19 virus seen in China are likely to be the impetus for these transportation efforts that will continue over the next two to three years.
“Apple has been trying to diversify its supply chain for a while, but these efforts have grown in the past two years due to US-China trade sanctions,” said Sanyam Chaurasia, an analyst at Canalys.
Last year, the tech giant produced around 7 million iPhones in India. He added that this news is likely to lead to a significant increase in smartphones made by Apple in India.
He said the plan to make more iPhones in India could also push Apple to lower its prices for the Indian market, making it more competitive. “You can adopt a stricter pricing strategy if you are making locally,” Chaurasia said.
Most of Apple’s smartphones and tablets are assembled by contractors with factories in China, but the company began asking them in 2020 to consider moving some production to Southeast Asia or elsewhere after repeated COVID-19 lockdowns disrupted its global flow. products.
Apple has not released details, but news reports say the company planned to build a range of tablets and wireless earbuds in Vietnam.
Other companies maintain or expand manufacturing in China to serve the domestic market while shifting export-oriented work to other countries due to higher wages and other costs, as well as difficulty for foreign executives to visit China due to travel restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Joe MacDonald of the Associated Press contributed information for this article.
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