Foxconn, Apple’s main contract manufacturer, has iPhone assembly lines in several countries besides China, including Brazil and India. When it comes to international iPhone sales, however, China’s operations still hold the most weight. However, it appears this time around that Apple will launch iPhone 14 production in both India and China at the same time.
As reported by the always-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo, at least one of the new iPhone 14 models will be manufactured in India alongside China. If this is the case, it would mark the first time that production of a new iPhone generation began in a country other than China at the same time as China.
According to Kuo, it typically takes several months to kick off production of a new iPhone outside of China. Foxconn, for example, initiated iPhone 13 assembly in India this year in April, with production subsequently kicking off in Brazil a few weeks later.
Of course, the goal of iPhone manufacturing in other countries is not to satisfy global demand but to serve local markets. Kuo claims that India’s capacity to manufacture iPhone 14s won’t be enough to make up for China’s production issues in the near future, but that this is still a “important milestone for Apple” in terms of spreading iPhone manufacturing around the world.
The analyst stresses that geopolitical impacts on Apple’s supply chain are to blame for the company’s decision to speed up iPhone 14 production in India.
Apple is looking to expand beyond China’s market.
Earlier today, it was reported that Apple had issued a warning to its suppliers about the possibility of “revenge” from the Chinese government against the United States in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan. Some of Apple’s vendors, including the chipmaker TSMC and the Taiwanese assembler Pegatron, met with Pelosi. There have been rumors ever since that China is refusing to accept deliveries from these businesses.
Parallel to this, component shortages and a few quality control issues have slowed down production of the iPhone 14 series. Apple may be able to slowly reduce its reliance on China if it increases iPhone production in India and possibly in Brazil as well.
Nonetheless, experts are confident that Apple will unveil the new iPhones next month, despite the setbacks. The next generation Apple Watch, including a Pro model for the first time, as well as a redesigned entry-level iPad with a USB-C port and 5G connectivity, are also expected to make their debut at the event.