As the US-China tension worsens, the world’s largest electronics seller has widened its India-made product profile and is preparing for exporting devices from the country. Apple is preparing for large-scale manufacturing here, amid slowing operations in China, say analysts.
Taiwan’s Foxconn has lined up $1-billion fresh investment in India and other partners are also boosting investments. Currently, Wistron and Foxconn — Apple’s two largest contract manufacturing partners — are making in India, and now a third one, Pegatron, is also setting foot in the country. The manufacturing of iPhone 11 is an indication that quality levels of India-made goods are on a par with those manufactured in China, though cost may still be somewhat more.
However, with the government looking at ‘Make in India’ through schemes such as the Rs 50,000-crore Production-Linked Incentive (that attracts manufacturers as well as suppliers of parts), this engagement may deepen further. iPhone 11 is the fifth model of smartphone that Apple is now manufacturing in the country.
“2020 – iPhone 11, 2019 – iPhone 7 & XR, 2018 – iPhone 6S, 2017 – iPhone SE. This chronology is a statement in itself as to how @narendramodi govt has developed the mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem in India. It’s only a humble beginning,” telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a tweet.
According to industry sources, Foxconn has been assembling iPhone 11 at the Sriperumbudur facility for a few months and devices were available in the market from the last month. Foxconn also makes XR for Apple. Wistron makes iPhone 7.
Apple and Foxccon did not comment on the matter.
According to Counterpoint research, Apple leads in the ultra-premium smartphone segment — devices priced above Rs 45,000 each. However, Apple sources said the company is currently not looking at making other products such as MacBook, iPad and Apple Watch in India. “The assembly lines being put are primarily for phones, and other product lines will take more time.”