Apple Plans to Assemble Over 50 Million iPhones Annually in India

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Apple, in collaboration with its suppliers, is contemplating the annual assembly of more than 50 million iPhones in India within the next two to three years, as reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday. This ambitious plan aims to establish India as the manufacturing hub for a quarter of the world’s iPhones, reflecting Apple’s strategic move to diversify production beyond China.

While China will continue to be the global leader in iPhone production, Apple’s efforts signify a significant shift as it seeks to reduce its reliance on a single manufacturing location. The primary driver behind this initiative is to mitigate risks associated with geopolitical and supply chain challenges, giving Apple greater flexibility and resilience.

Foxconn, Apple’s major contract manufacturer, is actively exploring the establishment of additional manufacturing facilities in India. Simultaneously, Tata Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates, is in the early stages of planning one of the nation’s largest iPhone assembly plants in Tamil Nadu. This aligns with Apple’s broader objective to enhance manufacturing capabilities in India, leveraging its growing consumer market.

The proposed assembly unit is anticipated to be situated in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, with plans to become operational within 12 to 18 months. It is expected to feature approximately 20 assembly lines and employ a workforce of around 50,000 within two years, contributing significantly to local employment and economic growth.

Presently, Tata Group manages an iPhone manufacturing unit in Karnataka, acquired from Wistron Corp. The conglomerate’s involvement in iPhone assembly positions it as the first domestic iPhone manufacturer in India, marking a significant milestone in the country’s manufacturing landscape.

As Apple shifts 7% of iPhone assembly to India, the production of the latest iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models is underway at Foxconn’s production unit near Chennai. The move underscores India’s increasing significance as a key manufacturing hub for global technology giants.

Minister of State (MoS) IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar expressed his congratulations to Tata Group for taking over the operations of Wistron’s unit. The move is expected to contribute to the growth of India’s mobile phone exports, which witnessed a significant increase from $3 billion (approximately Rs 25,000 crore) in the corresponding period of FY22-23 to $5.5 billion during the April-August period, according to estimates from the Department of Commerce and the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

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