As part of Apple’s diversification plan, it was reported that the tech giant would ship the “made-in-India” iPhone 14 base model almost simultaneously with China at launch in September to avoid any delays. However, that plan has changed.
Bloomberg reports that Apple will begin production of the iPhone 14 in India two months after the launch of the new iPhone series.
Apple’s supply chain is still very China-centered. In spite of the company’s gradual expansion out of the country due to the US-China trade war and production disruption caused by Chinese COVID-19 policies, Apple is unlikely to sever ties with the country because of its lucrative smartphone market and efficient supply chain.
Therefore, the Cupertino tech giant is narrowing the tech gap between India and China but “not closing it completely as some had anticipated” because it will some time to achieve Apple’s secrecy standard in India.
Apple sets to achieve confidentiality standards in India prior to shipping iPhone 14s out of the country
As a prerequisite to launching iPhone 14 models out of India, Apple plans to maintain its high standards for confidentiality in the country.
Reportedly, Foxconn has been studying the process of shipping components from China to India for iPhone 14 manufacturing at its Chennai factory but the manufacturer has not wrinkled out ways to maintain secrecy which is one of the reasons for delaying the iPhone 14s launch from India.
Apple and Foxconn ultimately determined a simultaneous start in India and China isn’t realistic this year, although it remains a long-term goal, said the people. The first iPhone 14s from India are likely to be finished in late October or November, following the initial September release, they said. An ambitious target would be the Diwali festival that begins Oct. 24, one person said.
India’s customs and workforce create a challenge for Apple and its suppliers to keep details of new products confidential.
The drastic security controls and stringent seclusion of its China facilities would be challenging to replicate (in India), one of the people said.
Apple has also been concerned about Indian customs officials, who typically open up packages to check whether imported materials match their declarations, another potential vulnerability for product secrecy.
Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone 14 series on September 7, along with other flagship products.