As major US brands seek alternate locations as they move out of China gradually, India and Vietnam have emerged as their primary choices. The fact that India is also one of the biggest markets for these phones, gives it an obvious edge over the neighbouring countries.
Apple has been talking of means to reduce its dependency over China and wants to start manufacturing the latest iPhone 12 series, iPads, MacBook’s and other products in other geographies. This means that India may soon start manufacturing the 5G iPhones soon while Vietnam may get a Lion’s share of iPad productions.
According to Nikkei (opens in new tab), the company, as a part of its diversification strategy, may soon start to manufacture other products like AirPods, Macs, and smart speakers at other manufacturing facilities outside China.
The Made in India iPhones could come out of Wistron’s Narasapura plant located in Kolar district of Karnataka and it is being reported that the Taiwanese company has already started recruiting resources to help increase the production of components in the country.
If everything goes as per the plan, Apple wants to start producing the iPhone 12 in India as early as this quarter though it may launch hit the markets by mid-year. The Nikkei report suggests that Apple has already moved the production of Mac Mini’s to Malaysia while the MacBook may be produced in Vietnam.
iPhone production in India
To recall, Apple has been making its iPhones in India for some time now. Production of the iPhone 11 started in July and came on top of the iPhone SE 2020, which the company had launched last year.
Apart from Wistron, other contract manufacturers of iPhones like Pegatron and Foxconn have started expanding their manufacturing base in India. Pegatron, which is Apple’s second-largest contract manufacturer, has already started the process by approving over $150 million to build up a manufacturing facility which is expected to go functional sometime this year or early 2020.
While Pegatron is the latest entrant, both Foxconn and Wistron already have production facilities in India. And these three iPhone manufacturers are among the 22 companies that are the part of Indian’s government’s PLI scheme – a bid to attract manufacturers to start manufacturing in India.
iPhone sales going up
It is not just the manufacturing that is witnessing a positive growth, Apple's sales figures, for the first time, in India are all green.
A report from Counterpoint Research and CyberMedia Research suggests that Apple may have started reaping the benefits of its increasing focus on India. For the first time, Apple has doubled its year-on-year iPhone sales in India. The Cupertino based company recorded 1.5 million iPhone shipments in the last quarter of 2020 which marks a massive bump in the overall sales.
The company has recorded a 60% increase in the cumulative sales figure for the previous year – a lot of this can be attributed to India centric pricing of iPhone 11 and iPhone SE (2020), incidentally, both are being manufactured in the country and helps the country avoid the 20% markup that’s payable to the government for importing fully manufactured devices in the country.
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