Apple iPhone assembler eyes major production shift out of China to India

In a major production shift out of China as part of global business’ efforts to diversify supply chains following the COVID-19 debacle, a contract manufacturer for Apple is shifting six production lines capable of exporting some $5 billion worth of iPhones from India above and beyond those catering to the domestic Indian market.

The Times of India:

Apple iPhone assembler eyes major production shift out of China to India. Image: iPhone SE (2020)
Apple’s iPhone SE (2020)
The establishment of the facility is expected to generate employment for around 55,000 Indian workers over a year or so, sources familiar with the exercise told TOI. The vendors may expand the operations beyond phones to include tablets and even computers and laptops in the coming years.

China has come under increased scrutiny after the COVID-19 global health crisis as it tried to suppress the outbreak in Wuhan. With trade tension already mounting and Beijing’s role under the lens, several global giants are looking to diversify their production bases across the world. India has aggressively moved in seeking to be part of the new production supply chain.

Container loads of goods from Apple’s key contract manufacturer have already reached India in the wake of the pandemic and China’s initial attempt to smother information about its outbreak…

Apple’s contract manufacturers, Wistron, Pegatron and Foxconn, Korean giant Samsung along with Indian players such as Dixon Lava and Micromax will manufacture mobile phones under the government’s production-linked incentive scheme. Foxconn already has a plant, while Wistron and Pegatron are likely to follow suit.

MacDailyNews Take: BLTN. What did we write long before COVID-19? Oh, right:

It’s smart for both Apple and Foxconn to diversify assembly outside of China. There’s no sense having all of your eggs in one basket.MacDailyNews, April 2, 2019

18 Comments

  1. From the Triads to the Dawood, Cook just doesn’t get it. Now is the time to start preparing for self sufficiency, and quit participating in the undermining of America just to please a myopic board of directors.

    1. With respect, I disagree. First, China absolutely WAS the best place to build Apple products for the past decade. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t have access to the same internal supply chain research that Apple does, and that their conclusion that Apple products are better served by a global infrastructure is based on sounder foundation than your stance that, what, they need to source all of their components in the US? Do you have pricing data to back that up?

  2. He has proven himself to be quite adroit at building a financial monolith, but he curiously didn’t see the profound China-complication coming…apparently.

    Maybe more curious, he’s not alone. The US has been in denial and or, we just love and expect cheap goods and high profits…in-spite of the real cost.

  3. No, no, no! TxUser has been telling us for years this can’t be done and China is the only place on planet Earth for Apple to manufacture on a global scale and I believe his convincing arguments!… /s

    1. I never said it was impossible. I said it would be difficult… far more difficult than you people seem capable of imagining. You don’t build a factory complex that requires 400,000 trained employees overnight.

      1. Oh, so you are playing semantic word games that you did not say the word “impossible.”

        Whatever, tedious specialist.

        What you did say REPEATEDLY OVER and OVER China is the only place on planet Earth that has the scale to produce Apple products.

        What you also did say repeatedly is their is no country on Earth except China that can produce Apple products on a large scale.

        You are a LIAR and playing semantic word games and good to read, as usual, you are totally WRONG!…

        1. Steve Jobs himself said that it was impossible. Americans have too many engineers that will not work for lower pay. Therefore hard to get manufacturing here because if one change has to be made…..who will do it.

      2. Stop LYING! You have posted for years China is the only country on planet Earth that has the scale to produce Apple products. So satisfying to read you are dead wrong….

        1. I haven’t been posting anything of the kind. I have been quite consistently saying that Apple is obviously trying to get out of China as fast as it can—as it should for several reasons—but that “as fast as it can” cannot mean “overnight.” If Apple were to stop assembling its products in China before it has an alternative, it would have no products to sell for at least a year or two. That would be a pretty major hit on even a corporation with Apple’s cash reserves.

          That’s what I posted. If that is not what you read, you might want to consider taking a course in reading comprehension.

  4. don’t underestimate cook. He is quietly moving production dependency out of china. the best news is the move to bring silicon in house and use TSMC Taiwan to make the chips … soon it will be impossible to copy apple software/hardware product line.

      1. Several American companies had their chance over the years .Motorola, IBM, and Intel they all have failed, it’s not coming back American CEO’s at the top like non union slave labor. 300,000 workers that can turned on a dime when needed.

    1. I think there may be credibility with what you say. He’s shown an uncanny ability to keep the players calm amidst challenge. Seeing a major company/manufacturer leave one’s fold could be quite unnerving and cause unpredictable results. I can image Cook “leaving” China for a strong base somewhere else, while keeping the Chinese relationship relatively calm.

      Bringing production “in-house” would be ideal, but I’ll wager the US will never be a complete China “replacement” because of labor alone (scale). Vietnam seems to be a alt-choice for some production, which is curious as they’re a smaller Red and actually a close China ally. India, please. Indonesia? Taiwan, as long as we can and they’re free.

  5. another point about India is they have a population almost equal to mainland china and their population is growing while china is shrinking. (the whole one child policy kinda coming back to get them) by 2050 China’s population will be at 1.1 billion, fewer than the 1.5 billion forecast for India.

    Plus india has a Democratic government (kinda)….

    1. no no, india buildings are not as tall, only a few stories high… so at worse they get a twisted ankle or bruised bum…

      but working at a fox con factory in China is a sweet gig compared to the labor prisons that harvest organs, hair and make shoes for the NBA.

      Are you suggesting that Apple isn’t telling the truth .. 😉

      https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/

      “Workplace rights are human rights. We require suppliers to provide fair working hours, a safe work site, and an environment free from discrimination. These protections apply across the supply chain, regardless of a person’s job or location.”

      but seriously, apple has forced improvements with suppliers, Remember apple has supplies fighting for chance to win an apple contract. So Apple will drop a suppler in a heart beat … I have been critical with Apple but its important to recognize and encourage change, otherwise your just a hater. Lets be critical of Apple but also give them props when they try to change …

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.