Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has begun making the next version of the Apple iPhone in India, almost a month ahead of the likely global launch of the iPhone 15, a report said.
A majority of Apple products are made at its main manufacturing base in China, but the Taiwanese firm is planning to step up the volumes of new iPhones produced at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.
Trial manufacturing of the iPhone 15 began at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory in China in June, around the same time that parts began arriving in India, The Economic Times reported.
Foxconn and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Apple is likely to announce the latest version of the iPhone on 12 September. The iPhone 15 is likely to get major upgrades to the camera, with the Pro models in line to get a 3-nanometer processor, a cutting-edge technology that will enhance processing speed and energy efficiency, allowing for faster and smoother performance.
Apple is looking to diversify its production base away from China amid increasing geopolitical rivalry between China and the US that is threatening to disrupt trade.
The Narendra Modi government has stepped up efforts to promote India as a manufacturing and export hub through the production-linked initiatives (PLIs) that it has launched for various sectors under the Make in India scheme.
A Bank of America report in June said Apple may tap the PLI scheme for mobile phones to shift about 18% of its global iPhone production to India by FY25. India produced about 7% of all iPhones in FY23 against a mere 1% in 2021, Bloomberg reported.
India has become the second-biggest mobile manufacturing country as shipments crossed the 2-billion cumulative unit mark under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the eight-year period from 2014-22, new research showed.
Huge internal demand, increasing digital literacy and government push are the major reasons for this growth, the study by Counterpoint Research said.
The Cupertino, California-based company said earlier this month that sales declined for a third straight quarter on waning demand in key markets US, Europe and China.
About half of Apple’s overall revenues comes from its iPhone segment. Foxconn’s second-quarter results that it reported this week also mirrored those of Apple’s numbers, which showed a drop in iPhone and iPad sales.
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