Apple has decided to produce its new smartphone model, “iPhone 14,” which was released earlier this month in India as well as in China. Analysts say Apple, which has been seeking ways to diversify its production bases since China’s “Zero Corona” policy, has begun its “de-China” strategy in earnest.
According to Reuters, Bloomberg, and CNBC on the 26th (local time), Apple announced in an official statement that it has started manufacturing the latest iPhone 14 in India.
This is the first time Apple has produced a new iPhone model in India. iPhone production began in India through Taiwan’s Apple partners Wistron and Foxconn in 2017, but most of them were old or low-priced models.
Apple started producing iPhone 13 in India this year and expanded its production line to iPhone 14. It is known that Indian production bases will produce iPhone 14 for export as well as for domestic use.
In response, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s start to produce the iPhone 14 in India was earlier than expected. Market watchers predicted that production of the iPhone 14 in India would not begin until late October or November.
The new iPhone production line should be equipped with innovative new technologies and safety capabilities, but Apple has reportedly prepared a plan to assemble the iPhone 14 at its Indian plant through its biggest partner, Foxconn. Analysts say that the time lag with China has been greatly reduced from six to eight months of the previous model.
Apple relied heavily on China to produce the latest models of major products such as iPhones and iPads, but has been focusing on diversifying its production sites as it believes there are high risks due to worsening U.S.-China relations and policies to block COVID-19.
India, along with Vietnam, has been considered the best candidate for Apple’s “de-China” strategy. JP Morgan predicted that Apple will produce 5 percent of the iPhone 14 in India from the end of this year and move 25 percent of its iPhone production facilities from China to India by 2025. In fact, Apple is also discussing the establishment of an iPhone assembly plant with Tata Group and Wistron, India’s largest companies.
Not only Apple but also Google’s holding company Alphabet is pushing to produce some of its smartphones in India, which have been manufactured in China, according to MarketWatch. It is said that it will make Pixel, a Google-branded smartphone, in India. It is known that bidding has already been conducted to entrust Indian manufacturers with volume (500,000 to 1 million units), which is 10 to 20% of Pixel’s annual production.