Apple to Sell iPhones Made-in-India For The First Time

Yesterday, Apple launched its highly anticipated iPhone 15, and with it, a significant shift in the company’s global supply chain strategy.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple will introduce India-built iPhone 15 units for sale in India and select other regions. These devices will be available simultaneously with their China-made counterparts for the first time. This strategic shift showcases Apple’s commitment to diversifying its manufacturing base away from its heavy reliance on Chinese production.


Apple’s Manufacturing Evolution in India


Apple’s foray into Indian manufacturing began in 2017 when it started assembling earlier iPhone models in the country. However, the real transformation occurred in 2020 when the tech giant commenced producing its flagship iPhones in India. This shift was instrumental in narrowing the production gap between China and India, which was once as long as nine months.

For the recently launched iPhone 14, this gap had shrunk to mere weeks, with Apple successfully manufacturing 7 percent of its iPhones in India.


Ambitious Goals


Looking ahead, Apple is setting ambitious targets for its Indian manufacturing operations. The company aims to increase its India-based iPhone production to a substantial 25 percent by 2025. However, Bloomberg’s report sounds a note of caution, warning that India-built devices may still face potential delays due to unforeseen logistical challenges.



Why Diversifying Production Matters


Apple’s efforts to reduce the disparity between its Chinese and Indian manufacturing facilities, both primarily operated by Foxconn, serve a crucial purpose. This move is designed to provide Apple with a reliable manufacturing alternative, capable of withstanding geopolitical tensions and local labour disputes.

Such issues threatened Apple’s ability to maintain a consistent supply of its flagship product, the iPhone, last year when factory protests disrupted production.

Moreover, this diversification allows Apple to navigate India’s complex regulatory landscape more effectively. By producing a significant portion of its devices within the country, Apple can avoid steep tariffs imposed on foreign products, aligning itself with the Indian government’s Make in India initiative.


 A Timely Move


The timing of Apple’s shift in manufacturing strategy couldn’t be more opportune. Recent surges in Chinese nationalism have prompted both government entities and consumers to reconsider their allegiance to foreign brands like Apple in favour of homegrown alternatives such as Huawei. By enhancing its presence in India, a massive and untapped market, Apple positions itself strategically to maintain its foothold in the Asian market while mitigating potential risks associated with nationalist sentiments in China.

With an eye on India’s growth potential and the need for manufacturing resilience, Apple is making bold strides to ensure it remains a dominant force in the smartphone industry, regardless of geopolitical fluctuations and changing consumer preferences. The iPhone 15 launch signifies not just a new product but a pivotal moment in Apple’s global manufacturing strategy.