In A First, Apple To Begin iPhone 14 Production Simultaneously In China And India
In a big boost to the 'Make in India' initiative, Apple is likely to start the production of its upcoming iPhone 14 model almost simultaneously in India and China.
The development gains significance as this will be the first time the production of a new generation of iPhone will begin in another country at almost the same time as in China.
Earlier, Apple usually started production of a new iPhone generation first in China and it took a few months before production of the phone begins in facilities outside the country.
According to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Foxconn, Apple's top iPhone vendor, would ship the new 6.1 inch iPhone 14 almost simultaneously with China for the first time in the second half of 2022.
Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn has its production facilities both in India and China.
Earlier in the past, India production of iPhone lagged that of China by one or more quarter, Kuo noted.
Apple will reportedly soon start phone production in a new building at an existing factory near Chennai.
Kuo added that 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.
As per Kuo, the development implies that Apple is trying to reduce the geopolitical impacts on its supply and sees the Indian market as the next key growth driver.
Apple faced supply constraints this year as Covid-19 lockdowns in China slowed the company's production.
Further, in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, Apple reportedly warned its suppliers about "Chinese revenge" Pelosi's trip to the island nation that Beijing claims as its territory.
During her trip to Taiwan, Pelosi visited many manufacturers, including Apple suppliers like TSMC and Pegatron. Since then, China has been reportedly blocking shipments from these companies, which could disrupt supplies of iPhone or their components.
According to a Reuters report, Apple told suppliers that China has begun enforcing a long-standing rule that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labelled as made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei.”
As per a 9to5Mac report, while Apple’s products are labelled “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China,” it’s possible that shipping documents would describe their origin as Taiwan. It seems likely that only the paperwork would need to be changed in order for shipments to be permitted.
"If the issue affects the shipping of components from Taiwan for assembly in China, then the issue will be easy to resolve if it merely involves paperwork, but would be far more disruptive if any of the components themselves are labelled as “Made in Taiwan'," 9to5 Mac reported.
At the same time, component shortages and some minor quality issues have also resulted in delays in production of the iPhone 14 lineup.
By increasing iPhone production in India and other countries as well, Apple might be able to slowly reduce its reliance on China.
In recent years, Apple and Foxconn have stepped up efforts to expand their supply chains outside mainland China, especially in India and Vietnam, which incentivise local production.
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