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New Delhi – Apple ramped up production in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone sector after accelerating its move beyond China, assembling more than US$7 billion (S$9.3 billion) of iPhones in India last year. tripled.

The US company now makes nearly 7% of iPhones in India by expanding its partnership from Foxconn Technology Group to Pegatron Corporation, said a person familiar with the matter. This is a huge leap for India, which accounted for an estimated 1% of the world’s iPhones in 2021.

As tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate, Apple is looking for ways to reduce its dependence on China.

Also as part of this, Apple is in talks with a supplier to manufacture MacBooks in Thailand, Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Thursday. Apple says he has been mass-producing Apple Watches in Thailand for over a year.

The world’s most valuable company suffered disruptions at Foxconn’s main “iPhone City” complex in Zhengzhou last year, triggering vulnerabilities in Apple’s supply chain and forcing it to lower production estimates. At the same time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a series of incentives to boost manufacturing in the country.

Of the total iPhone production in the fiscal year ending March 2023, Apple exported US$5 billion, nearly four times more than the previous period, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple will likely try to manufacture the next iPhone in India around the fall of 2023, around the same time as China. If so, it will be the first time iPhone assembly has started in his two countries at the same time. If the aggressive expansion of suppliers continues, Apple could assemble his quarter of all iPhones in India by 2025. An Apple representative declined to comment.

Even before last year’s iPhone city resurgence, Apple recognized the need to diversify its supply chain. Successfully lobbied for incentives in India, encouraging his suppliers Foxconn, Wistron Corp. and Pegatron to launch there. The trio, who together employ about 60,000 workers in India, manufacture models from the aging iPhone 11 to his latest iPhone 14 in the country.

This has helped position Apple at the center of India’s ambitions to become a major manufacturing hub and an alternative to China, which is one of the world’s strictest companies when it comes to manufacturing. The company’s production chain encompasses hundreds of companies worldwide and employs millions of people, many of whom are currently employed in China.

The shift in iPhone production represents an economic triumph for India and could influence how other US brands plan the future. The economy is in shambles after years of punishing Covid Zero restrictions.

Apple will open its first two retail stores in India next week. One in the financial hub of Mumbai and another in the capital, New Delhi. CEO Tim Cook plans to fly out to personally open two stores, emphasizing the growing importance of the domestic market.

Apple has also pushed for changes to India’s labor laws as part of its efforts to expand local production and build mega-factories.

Foxconn, the company’s largest contract manufacturer, will invest about $700 million in a factory in the southern state of India to manufacture mobile phone components and possibly iPhones.Bloomberg, Reuters Apple to triple iPhone production in India from China to $9.3 billion

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