Apple Wants To Make 1-In-4 iPhones In India As Tata Plans To Build Country’s Biggest Factory For The Smartphone, Reports Say

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Apple wants to expand iPhone manufacturing in India within the next two to three years to assemble nearly a quarter of all iPhones there each year, the Wall Street Journal reported, highlighting Apple’s growing ambitions in the country as it looks to reduce its reliance on China.

According to the Journal, the plan is to expand manufacturing in India to more than 50 million devices within the next few years and then grow by tens of millions of iPhones after that.

The expanded manufacturing goals are also being pushed by Apple’s top suppliers, including Taiwan’s Foxconn, which is set to open a new plant in the state of Karnataka in April, from where it plans to eventually manufacture 20 million smartphones annually—mostly iPhones.

Bloomberg reported separately that Indian conglomerate, Tata, wants to build the country’s biggest iPhone assembly plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Tata already owns an iPhone manufacturing plant in the state of Karnataka—which it acquired from Wistron earlier this year—and has partnered with Apple to launch 100 retail stores for its products across the country.

The Journal’s report adds that India has been picked as the primary site to manufacture a new budget iPhone and Apple has begun working with local contractors to lay out a manufacturing plan for the product—something it previously only did in China.

Apple has not commented on either of the reports.

224.7 million. That is the total number of iPhones shipped by Apple in 2022, according to Counterpoint Research. The data shows that 2023 remains on track to post similar numbers.

The Journal’s report largely tracks with a forecast made by JPMorgan last year that Apple plans to move 25% of all iPhone manufacturing to India by 2025. At an event in January, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal hailed Apple as “another success story” in India’s push to become a global manufacturing hub. At the time, Goyal also indicated that Apple wanted to bring 25% of its global manufacturing to India. The launch of the iPhone 15 this year was a key milestone for Apple’s India manufacturing plans as it was the first time that the latest iPhone model shipped globally from both Indian and Chinese factories at launch. Previously, production of Apple’s latest models in India would trail China by a few months. Apple’s India expansion has been part of the so-called China+1 strategy adopted by various global companies.

Earlier this week, various outlets reported that Apple has informed its suppliers to source components for iPhone batteries from India, instead of China.

Apple Aims to Make a Quarter of the World’s iPhones in India (Wall Street Journal)

Tata Plans New iPhone Factory to Hasten Apple’s India Expansion (Bloomberg)

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