Apple built more iPhone 15s in India than any past model and it plans to continue that trend. The company will shift a quarter of its iPhone production — more than 50 million phones — to the nation within the next two to three years, The Wall Street Journal reported. China would still remain the largest iPhone supplier by a good margin, though.
Foxconn and other Apple suppliers reportedly believe that the push into India has been proceeding well, so they’re setting the stage for future expansion. The company proceeded slowly at first due to infrastructure problems and powerful unions that have helped set more restrictive labor rules — pushing back against 12-hour work days, for example.
India’s commerce minister said at the beginning of 2023 that Apple planned to build 25 percent of its phones in the nation, but there was never any timeframe attached to that. Two to three years would represent a fairly dramatic ramp-up, considering that the iPhone 15 marked the first time it had released a model made in India on launch day.
It’s also been known that Apple contractor Foxconn would manufacture more iPhone 15s than past models its facility in Tamil Nadu, India. It’s part of Apple’s plan to diversify manufacturing in the face of supply chain risks due to tensions between the US and China. Foxconn is currently building a plant in the southern Karnataka state expected to open in April 2024, and has another megaplant on the drawing board as well, according to the WSJ‘s sources.
To date, Apple has only built a small percentage of its iPhones in India, and production previously lagged behind China by up to nine months. That changed with the iPhone 14, which started manufacturing the same month as in China, and iPhone 15s built in India were available in stores at launch.
Relations between US and China are delicate at the moment, with the US recently taking measures to block access to advanced technology in the nation. Apple continues to stress the nation’s importance, though, with CEO Tim Cook having traveled there twice in 2023. Apple also sells a large number of phones in China, accounting for about 19 percent of its total revenue — while stressing that all phones in sold China through authorized channels are also built in China and use local suppliers.
This article contains affilate links; if you click such a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission.
Barbara Terrio is a seasoned business journalist, delving into the world of finance, startups, and entrepreneurship. With a knack for demystifying complex economic trends, she helps readers navigate the business landscape. Outside of her reporting, Barbara is an advocate for financial literacy and enjoys mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs.