Deepening its production roots further in India, Apple is going to manufacture AirPods in the country for the first time.
According to Reuters, the tech giant’s long-term Taiwanese assembly partner, Foxconn has won the order to make AirPods and will manufacture Apple’s headphones for the first time at its new factory which would cost over $200 million to build.
For the first time, Foxconn will manufacture AirPods for Apple to “reinforce engagement”
Previously, it was reported that Apple’s partner Jabil was producing components of AirPods in India which were shipped to China and Vietnam to be assembled.
With the commitment to establish a new AirPods plant in India for over $200 million, Foxconn hopes to “reinforce engagement” with the tech giant to get orders for new products. Currently, it is the biggest iPhone assembler in Apple’s supply chain.
Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker and assembler of around 70% of all iPhones, become an AirPod supplier for the first time.
Foxconn will invest more than $200 million in the new India AirPod plant in the southern Indian state of Telangana.
Officials had debated internally for months about whether to assemble AirPods due to relatively lower profit margins on making the device, but ultimately opted to go ahead with the deal to “reinforce engagement” with Apple.
Apple is gradually diversifying its supply chain to reduce reliance on China. In addition to Vietnam and Malaysia, the tech giant is focusing on India as an alternative production hub. Starting in 2020, the tech company began manufacturing iPhone SE 2 for the local market and opened its online store.
Now, it ships iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus out of the country and is set to inaugurate its first Apple Store this year because it is also a lucrative market. Recently, it was reported that Apple reshuffled management to make India its “own sales region”.
At the Q1, 2023 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company views India as an exciting market and was “a major focus”.
Having said that, the report did not mention the size of Foxconn’s AirPods order and which models it would be manufacturing. At the moment, Luxshare and Goertek are AirPods suppliers.