If the Covid-19 second surge had not played havoc, Foxconn's India unit, which assembles Apple's smartphones, could very well have been at the centre of the much-expected iPhone 13 that is likely to launch in September.
Now, as it happens, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer's production unit at Zhengzhou in Central China's Henan Province --- housing the largest iPhone factory in the world --- will be the cynosure of all eyes as Foxconn is the major player in the final stage of iPhone 13 production.
A Chinese media report has is that Foxconn is responsible for assembling all of Apple's premium model, the 6.7 inch iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The iPhone 13 devices will probably come with faster 5G, while the camera, display and a bigger battery are also expected.
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Pegatron, Luxshare are also in the thick of it
Foxconn, which is locally known as Hon Hai, is also contracted to assemble 60% of the smaller premium iPhone, the 6.1 inch iPhone 13 Pro, and 68% of the 6.1 inch iPhone 13, the report added.
But it is not Foxconn alone that is shouldering all of the manufacturing responsibility when it comes to the iPhone 13. Another contract manufacturer, the Taiwan-headquartered Pegatron is said to be handling the production of all 5.4 inch iPhone 13 products and 32% of the 6.1 inch iPhone 13 Pro.
Another contract supplier Luxshare Precision is also joining the league of iPhone manufacturing units for the first time. It has been given the job of handling 40% of the 6.1 inch iPhone 13 Pro devices.
All in all, the these companies have made the most of the opportunities that have come their way in the last four months.
It again underscores the professionalism and the state of preparedness of the Chinese units when it comes to being the supply network of global electronics brands.
Can India and Vietnam bounce back?
Apple is targeting 130 to 150 million new iPhone units for the second half of 2021.
In a sense, it is a loss to India and Vietnam which hoped to make the most out of the exodus out of China by international brands in the light of the US-led trade sanctions against Beijing.
But as emergency demand from Apple increased, both Foxconn and Pegatron lured workers to return to the iPhone handset production line with record-high cash bonuses.
It remains to be seen whether Foxconn and Pegatron shift back manufacture to India and Vietnam as things seem to be improving there with the Covid-19 second wave showing signs of abating.
Local sources say that Foxconn's unit in India is slowly limping back to normalcy. It should be ready to handle more assembling jobs in a month.
So all may not be lost for the Indian operations of Foxconn.
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Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.