iPhone 14: made-in-India will compete with made-in-China


About two months after the product’s initial introduction in China, Apple Inc. intends to start producing the iPhone 14 there, reducing the gap between the two nations but not closing it as some had hoped.

According to some with knowledge of the situation, the company has been collaborating with suppliers to increase manufacturing in India and reduce the customary six to nine-month production delay for new iPhone launches. Due to tensions with the US government and nationwide lockdowns, Apple is looking for alternatives.

The new iPhone is expected to ship from both nations at about the same time, according to analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities Group. This would have been a significant milestone for Apple’s efforts to diversify its supply chain and increase redundancy.

Even if it remains a long-term objective, Apple and Foxconn eventually decided that launching simultaneously in China and India isn’t feasible this year. Following the initial September release, they predicted that the first iPhone 14s from India will likely be completed in late October or November. The Diwali festival, which starts on October 24, has been suggested as a lofty goal.

Apple’s spokesperson declined to comment. Apple is situated in Cupertino, California. Requests for comment from Foxconn were not promptly fulfilled.

Matching China’s rate of iPhone manufacturing would have been a significant accomplishment for India, which has been praising its appeal as a substitute at a time when ongoing Covid lockdowns and US sanctions threaten China’s status as the world’s factory. Meeting Apple’s infamously strict schedules and quality requirements, along with collaboration between hundreds of suppliers, is frequently required while assembling iPhones.

However, there was never a formal plan for Apple and Foxconn to start manufacturing simultaneously in India this year. According to one of the persons, Apple intended to prioritize ramping up operations in China before working out the production in India to assure a seamless launch.

In 2017, Apple’s partners started producing iPhones in India, marking the beginning of a multi-year project to develop the nation’s manufacturing capacity. The 1.4 billion-person nation serves as a backup to its current operations and is a prospective consumer market. Additionally, the Modi administration has provided financial incentives for tech production through its Make in India program.

Secrecy is one obstacle to lowering India’s production ceiling. Apple goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of new product information, so enforcing the same stringent regulations in another nation would be challenging.

Apple has reportedly been concerned about another possible weakness for product secrecy: Indian customs officers, who typically inspect shipments to verify that imported materials match their declarations.

Supply-chain issues would have prevented a simultaneous launch even if Apple and Foxconn had planned on it. The process of shipping parts via China, the country from which many iPhone components are sourced, has been made more difficult by repeated waves of lockdowns.

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