iPhone production moves outside China before official announcement for the first time

iPhone production moves outside China before official announcement for the first time

Foxconn Begins Production of iPhone 15 in India: A Significant Milestone in Apple’s Diversification Strategy

Image: iPhone 15 Cyan and Magenta Frosted Back Feature

Apple’s long-time supplier, Foxconn, is breaking new ground in India by starting production of the highly anticipated iPhone 15 even before its official announcement, according to a recent Bloomberg report1. This marks a significant shift in Apple’s manufacturing operations, as it is the first time that a new iPhone model is being produced outside of China in advance.

The production of the iPhone 15 is taking place at Foxconn’s plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Remarkably, these devices are expected to be ready for shipment just weeks after their counterparts manufactured in China2. This move effectively narrows the gap between the manufacturing operations of iPhones in India and those in China, as previously, iPhones made in India lagged behind Chinese production by around six to nine months3.

One of the key factors driving Apple’s decision to manufacture its latest iPhone in India is the country’s ability to meet the production demands. The scale of iPhone 15 production in India will largely depend on the availability of imported components and the ramp-up of production lines4. Additionally, Apple’s other manufacturing partners, such as Pegatron and Wistron, are also gearing up to assemble the iPhone 155.

This strategic shift towards production in India is part of Apple’s broader plan to diversify its supply chain away from its heavy reliance on Chinese manufacturing. Reports suggest that Apple aims to produce 25% of all iPhones in India by 2025, with plans to gradually extend this strategy to other products such as the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods6.

The Rise of India as a Manufacturing Hub for Apple

India has emerged as a lucrative destination for global technology companies looking to diversify their manufacturing operations. The Indian government has introduced several initiatives, such as the “Make in India” program, which aims to attract foreign investment and promote local manufacturing7. This, coupled with a skilled workforce and favorable business conditions, has made India an attractive choice for Apple to establish its manufacturing hub.

In recent years, Apple has made significant strides in expanding its presence in India. The company has been proactive in establishing relationships with local suppliers and partnering with domestic manufacturers, such as Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron8. These partnerships have not only supported Apple’s manufacturing goals but have also created job opportunities and contributed to the growth of the Indian economy.

Apple’s decision to produce the iPhone 15 in India ahead of its announcement underscores the country’s evolving role in Apple’s global supply chain. By leveraging India’s manufacturing capabilities, Apple aims to reduce its dependence on China and mitigate potential risks associated with disruptions to its supply chain9. Furthermore, manufacturing in India allows Apple to cater to the growing demand for its devices in the local market while avoiding import restrictions and tariffs.

Foxconn’s Plans for Manufacturing AirPods in India

In a related development, DigiTimes has reported that Foxconn is planning to produce AirPods in India by the end of 2024 at its facility near Hyderabad, Telangana10. This move aligns with Apple’s broader goal of expanding its manufacturing operations in India to include a range of products beyond iPhones. With the production of AirPods, Apple aims to further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market and cater to the growing demand for wireless audio accessories.

Conclusion

Foxconn starting production of the iPhone 15 in India prior to its announcement signifies a significant milestone in Apple’s efforts to diversify its supply chain. By extending its manufacturing operations into India, Apple aims to reduce its reliance on China and tap into the country’s vast potential as a manufacturing hub. As Apple continues to expand its partnership with Foxconn and other manufacturers, India is set to play an increasingly important role in the global production of Apple devices. With the production of the iPhone 15 and the upcoming manufacturing of AirPods, India’s significance in Apple’s supply chain is poised to grow, benefitting both Apple and the Indian economy.


  1. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  2. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  3. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  4. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  5. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  6. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  7. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  8. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  9. Source: Bloomberg↩︎

  10. Source: Bloomberg↩︎