Amidst reports of Apple diversifying its supply chain with more suppliers and countries, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that a portion of the new 6.1-inch iPhone 14 will be manufactured in India at Foxconn’s facilities. It will be for the first time that the new smartphone will be made in India “almost simultaneously” with China.
Starting with manufacturing iPhone SE 2 in India in 2020, Apple’s partners like Foxconn, Wistron, and others have gradually expanded their production capacity in the country.
In Q1, 2022, the tech giant shipped a million “made in India” iPhone units with 50% Y-o-Y growth. In addition to iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, the tech company also produces iPhone 13 models in India.
Apple views India as a “key growth driver” in iPhone 14 supply chain
Recently, Kuo explained that Apple was expanding its supply chain because of the current geopolitical risks which created “new deglobalization challenges”. The company’s solution to efficiently managing a complex supply chain was to add more suppliers, preferably Chinese, and build production locations outside China to maintain a steady supply chain and avoid delays.
And in that effort, the Cupertino tech giant views India as a “key growth driver”. Sharing his new assessment on Twitter, Kuo wrote that Apple will be producing a fraction of iPhone 14 base model shipments in India concurrent to the base model’s production in China as a safety net from geopolitical impacts on supply.
My latest survey indicates Foxconn’s iPhone production site in India will ship the new 6.1″ iPhone 14 almost simultaneously with China for the first time in 2H22 (India being one quarter or more behind in the past).
He also added that the volume of 6.1-inch iPhone 14 shipments coming from India will still be a lot smaller than shipments coming from China. This means Apple does not plan to reduce or completely leave China because it is one of the largest markets in the world and very lucrative for Apple.
The company probably just wants to reduce its reliance on the region and its changing political and economic conditions.
In the short term, India’s iPhone capacities/shipments still have a considerable gap with China, but it’s an important milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone production site.
It implies that Apple is trying to reduce the geopolitical impacts on supply and sees the Indian market as the next key growth driver.
Apple has a different lineup of the new iPhone 14 series coming in September; after discontinuing the 5.4-inch iPhone mini models, the tech giant will offer 6.1-inch iPhone 14, 6.1-inch 14 Pro, 6.7-inch 14 Max, and 6.7-inch 14 Pro Max reportedly.