As Apple plans to diversify its supply chain outside China, the Cupertino firm is having a hard time with its iPhone production in India. A paywalled report by The Financial Times (via Reuters) shows that half of the components from the production line in the country are in “good enough shape to be sent to Apple’s supplier Foxconn.”
This factory in southern India is owned by the conglomerate Tata Group. According to FT, this 50% yield doesn’t meet Apple’s goal of zero defects, which is one reason Apple’s expanding process in India has been slow. Logistics, tariffs, and infrastructure are also problems the Cupertino firm is experiencing.
A recent report shows Apple wants to produce as many as 1 in every 4 new iPhones in India in 2023. As the Cupertino firm plans to launch four new iPhone models this fall, rumors say the company has already started a very early iPhone 15 production run with its supplier Foxconn. Those reports indicated that Apple wants to have the India production lines up to speed as fast as possible. That way, Apple can manufacture new iPhones in India soon after the Foxconn sites in China start producing their units.
In addition to the iPhone production, Apple has already begun producing components for AirPods in the country. According to Bloomberg, Jabil Inc. is shipping AirPods enclosures or plastic bodies to China and Vietnam, where the wireless earbuds are assembled. The movement isn’t public yet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and political tensions between China and the US, Apple wants to rely less on the Asian country. With India wishing to grow its manufacturing sector, the Cupertino firm is taking advantage of this political-economic change by having dozen of its Chinese suppliers receive initial clearances to create joint ventures with Indian partners.
Unfortunately, it seems Apple is still struggling with the Indian factories. BGR will keep reporting on the matter.