Apple plans to increase the production of its iPhone in India, projecting that over the next two or three years it will assemble about 25% of the global total of these devices in the Asian country. The decision to expand operations in India suggests a significant change in Apple’s global supply chain. The company, based in Cupertino, California, has historically relied on China for the mass production of its products. However, trade tensions between the United States and China, as well as the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, have prompted the technology company to look for alternatives.
India offers benefits such as skilled labor and competitive manufacturing costs, attractive elements for Apple’s diversification strategy. The repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the search for production alternatives for Apple. The Wall Street Journal report highlights Apple’s progressive intention to increase its presence in the Indian market. This country is not only becoming an important hub for the manufacturing of electronic devices but also represents a rapidly growing market for technology consumers. Apple has made no official comment on the details of this expansion or specific iPhone production figures in India.
Apple started producing certain iPhone models in India since 2017 by collaborating with manufacturers such as Wistron and Foxconn. The proposed expansion reinforces the company’s commitment to strengthening its manufacturing capacity outside China and could have significant implications for the Indian economy and competition within the global technology sector. The geographical diversification of production becomes a priority for Apple in the current global panorama.
The assembly process for Apple products in China involves a highly complex and coordinated production chain. Factories at companies like Foxconn, Apple’s prime contractor, receive components from suppliers around the world. These components are assembled by employees on production lines where each worker performs a specific task. Efficiency and the ability to handle a high volume of production are key in this process. This assembly system has been subject to scrutiny and criticism, particularly regarding working conditions. Apple has conducted audits and promoted improvements in response to such concerns. Assembly in China is just one part of Apple’s global manufacturing process, but it remains a critical piece due to its ability to scale and workforce specialization.
Manufacturing costs in India present a competitive advantage for companies like Apple. Formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., it is a leading Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company. It is the largest assembler of Apple products. The relationship between Apple and Foxconn is deeply symbiotic, as Foxconn has specialized in meeting the high quality standards and mass production demands that characterize Apple products. However, this relationship has also been in the eye of the storm due to various controversies related to working conditions at Foxconn plants.
The technology giant plans to assemble up to 25% of all its iPhones in India. Reports of long work hours, improper handling of hazardous chemicals, and safety risks for workers have drawn criticism from labor rights organizations and forced both Foxconn and Apple to commit to improvements in the work environment. Both companies continue to collaborate closely as Foxconn seeks to diversify its customer base and Apple keeps its promise to improve corporate social responsibility in its supply chain. It is known that the company has established production plants in several locations in India, resulting in incremental capacity for the manufacturing of electronic devices, including products for Apple such as the iPhone.