Apple has been manufacturing iPhones in India since 2017. The first iPhone to be manufactured in the country was the iPhone SE. Currently, the company has elaborate assembly lines for the latest iPhones, including the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. However, there has always been a time gap between global and Indian manufacturing schedules.
Well, this year, the Cupertino-based tech giant is looking to narrow the gap between the production of the iPhones in India and China. According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple and its suppliers could begin manufacturing the upcoming iPhone 14 in India as soon as two months from the international launch of the device. Following the September release, the first iPhone 14s manufactured in India could be ready by “last October or November”, as per the report.
In the past, it took six to nine months for Apple to start manufacturing the latest iPhone in India. However, with a decent response to iPhone 13’s production in the country, Apple is looking at India as an alternative to its largest manufacturer in the world, China, as “Xi Jinping’s administration clashes with the US government” are on the rise.
A couple of days ago, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities Group, said that Apple could ship the iPhone 14 from India and China simultaneously. Still, Apple’s primary manufacturer, Foxconn Technology Group, figured that it would not be possible to start production in India this year simultaneously.
There are a couple of challenges that India has to overcome. First, assembling the latest iPhone before the launch could be challenging due to the tremendous demand in the global market, especially “tight deadlines and quality controls.” Another challenge that the company is very particular about is maintaining secrecy. According to the Bloomberg report, executives in India examined Foxconn’s assembly lines in the country. They concluded that replicating the security standards and seclusion that Apple has maintained in the Chinese facilities would be very difficult.
It is essential to mention that China is not only the largest manufacturer but also the primary source of components used in manufacturing an iPhone. Even if Apple wants to manufacture the latest iPhone in India on a large scale, it would still have to import most components from outside the country. The Bloomberg report was written by Sankalp Phartiyal and Saritha Rai, with assistance from Debby Wu and Mark Gurman.