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India reportedly producing 15 million iPhone 15 units this year as Apple diversifies supply chain

Published Aug 2nd, 2023 8:03AM EDT
Apple Store in New Delhi, india
Image: Apple Inc.

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After the disastrous iPhone 14 initial sales due to a COVID-19 outbreak followed by riots at Apple‘s largest iPhone factory in China, the Cupertino firm decided it won’t be caught flat-footed ever again. While BGR has reported the company’s attempts to diversify its supply chain outside the Asian country, Nikkei Asia offered an inside look at Apple’s efforts to produce 15 million iPhone 15 units this year in India.

According to the publication, while it previously took almost a year for India to catch up with iPhone production compared to China, the 2023 goal is to narrow the difference between Chinese production and Indian production by only ten days.

While China has accounted for 95% of global iPhone production since the original model was released in 2007, Apple wants to diversify the “Assembled in China” brand into more locations, and the company intends to produce at least 20% of the iPhone 15 in India.

Nikkei explains that “rather than snapping together already finished components in India, Apple plans to make more intermediate parts, such as metal casings, in the country.” In addition, the Cupertino firm wants to bring new iPhone product development resources to India from China, as it would involve thousands of engineers and “numerous” new laboratories.

There are a few reasons why Apple decided to bet in India. First of all, the Biden administration is building a partnership with India, while US-China relations still haven’t improved, which could be a problem for Apple in the long run. In addition, analyses expect India to have a billion smartphone users by 2026. Besides China, India has the most potential to be Apple’s new growing market.

“India’s attractiveness includes its massive market, cheap labor, and government incentives,” said Prachir Singh, an India-based analyst with Counterpoint. “We recognize we will see a significant shift over here.”

With the iPhone 15 expected to be announced in a month, we’ll soon discover how well India can perform in a simultaneous launch with China, and, over the years, we may see India’s iPhone production increase.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.