Apple’s brand-new iPhone 15 which is yet to be launched has started production in a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Tamil Nadu in order to narrow the gap between its India operations and its main manufacturing base in China.
According to the people familiar to the matter, a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Sriperumbudur is preparing to deliver the newest devices only weeks after they start shipping from factories in China as the company seeks to swiftly increase the production of new iPhones coming from India.
The US-based company has been diversifying its manufacturing away from China in a multiyear project to reduce the risk which might be caused due to the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing which has made trade less predictable. India, under the leadership of PM Modi has been making efforts to have good ties with the US and market itself as an ideal manufacturing hub to compete with China.
Before the iPhone 14, Apple only had a fraction of its iPhone assembly in India, which lagged China output by six to nine months. That delay was drastically reduced last year and Apple produced 7% of its iPhones in India by the end of March. The goal this year for Apple is to reduce this gap even more and move closer to parity on shipment timing between India and China.
The scale of Indian production for the iPhone 15 will depend on the ready availability of components, which are largely imported, and the smooth ramp-up of production lines at the Foxconn factory outside Chennai. Other Apple suppliers in India are the Pegatron Corp and Wistron Corp. The Wistron Corp factory that is being acquired by the Tata Group, will also soon assemble the iPhone 15, according to reports.
Apple has been slowly expanding in India through its Taiwanese suppliers and after benefiting from financial incentives from the Modi government which are aimed to bring more high-end manufacturing in India. Apple in April also opened its first retail stores in Mumbai and Delhi in India as the demand for Apple products has been high in the last few years. This is shown in the report that Apple’s sales in India grew double digits to a new high in the quarter through June.
Apple CEO Tim Cook met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Tim Cook’s trip to India in April and had said that Apple is “committed to growing and investing across the country”.
The new iPhone 15, likely to be announced on September 12, promises to be the biggest update to the device in three years. It will include major upgrades to the camera system across the range, and the Pro models will gain an improved 3-nanometer processor.
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