As analysts anticipate a greater shift in the American giant’s future manufacturing, Apple announced on Monday that it has begun assembling the iPhone 14 models in India. This marks the first time the current lineup has been locally produced in the same calendar year in the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
The smartphone is being produced in the Sriperumbudur factory near Chennai by the company’s international partner Foxconn. Later this year, the locally made iPhone models will start selling in the nation. We’re thrilled to be producing the iPhone 14 in India, an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement to TechCrunch.
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Apple began locally assembling smartphones in India in 2017, but until this year, the iPhone maker has used the manufacturing facilities in India to assemble older generation handsets. Apple launched the iPhone 14 models earlier this month.
Analysts estimate that Apple will turn India into a global iPhone manufacturing hub by 2025 as it slowly cuts its reliance on China, where it has been producing the vast majority of its devices for over a decade. In a report earlier this month, JP Morgan analysts said Apple will move 5% of global iPhone 14 production to India by late 2022 and expand its manufacturing capacity in the country to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025.
India has attracted investments from Apple manufacturing partners Foxconn and Wistron in recent years by offering lucrative subsidies as New Delhi moves to make the country a manufacturing hub. The presence of the foreign production giants, coupled with “ample labor resources and competitive labor costs,” make India a desirable location, JP Morgan analysts said.
“India’s iPhone supply chain has historically supplied only legacy models. Interestingly, Apple has requested that EMS vendors manufacture iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India in 4Q22, within two to three months of the start of production in Mainland China. The much shorter interval implies the increasing importance of India production and likely higher iPhone allocations to India manufacturing in the future,” the report added.
As Apple expands its local manufacturing capacity in India, many will hope that it will make its handsets affordable in the country. The base iPhone 14 model, which is priced at $799 in the U.S., costs 79,900 Indian rupees ($980). Whereas the entry iPhone Pro Max model costs $1,717 in India, compared to its $1,099 sticker price in the U.S.