Apple in India: Exporting billions of iPhones and soon also building AirPods

Apple is surprisingly aggressively expanding its manufacturing base in India: There are record numbers in iPhone exports and another device category is added.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) recently visited India. (Image: dpa, Divyakant Solanki)

iPhones “made in India” are no longer a rarity. As informed circles report, Apple’s contract manufacturers on the subcontinent have managed to manufacture and export smartphones worth a billion US dollars in India since April. The expansion of the second most important Apple production site after China is apparently faster and more aggressive than observers had assumed.

Most recently, Apple started to have the current iPhone 14 produced in India relatively quickly – a few months after the start of production in China, where most Apple smartphones are still manufactured. Indian iPhones are currently supposed to go mainly to Europe and the Middle East. iPhone exports could surpass $2.5 billion in the 12 months to March 2023, reports Bloomberg. That would be almost double the export amount compared to the previous year.

These values ​​are still small compared to China. This is where most of the 100 million iPhones almost produced in the main season are still assembled. The supply chain is also mainly located in the huge empire – from component manufacturers to display producers to the pre-assembly of the device chassis. This is exactly where India would have to catch up massively in order not only to be the assembler of the devices but also to become an important pre-supplier. Here, however, China is likely to remain unbeaten for years to come.

In addition to the iPhone, the Indian government is hoping for other Apple products made in India. These include in particular iPad tablets and MacBooks. As a first step, however, Apple accessories are also to be manufactured on the subcontinent. In addition to Vietnam, where there is already interest in Apple Watch and MacBook production, India is to become another location for the AirPods.

According to the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Asia, in addition to Apple plugs, Beats products are also being considered for final assembly in India. It was said that the intention was to strengthen the global supply chain. The start of production is said to be expected as early as next year. One thing is already clear: India should also be an export country here. The fact that Apple only uses the country to manufacture products for the local market is over. As in China, the group relies on large outsourced manufacturers such as Foxconn or Luxshare, which are based in Taiwan and China.

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