Apple adds new iPhone 14 maker in India in a shift from China
(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Pegatron Corp has begun assembling the company’s latest iPhone 14 model in India.
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The move makes Pegatron the second Apple supplier to produce the iPhone 14 in the country, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News, who declined to be identified because the manufacturing plan is not public.
It comes at a time when Apple’s main iPhone Pro manufacturing center in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou – run by Foxconn Technology Group – has been put under a sudden Covid-19 ban by the authorities. People said this situation highlighted Apple’s deep dependence on China, even though the expansion into India was in line with diversification plans already in place.
Apple and Pegatron representatives declined to comment.
Foxconn began making the iPhone 14 in India in September, just weeks after its global unveiling and much closer to par with the start of production in China, where the vast majority of iPhones are still made. Apple’s main production partner still enjoys exclusivity on the iPhone Pro models, which are assembled in Zhengzhou.
The Pegatron plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which employed more than 7,000 as of the end of September, started manufacturing the iPhone 12 earlier this year. Pegatron generally gets requests for Apple entry forms.
Cupertino, California-based Apple is looking for alternative production centers amid a trade war between Washington and Beijing and the strict enforcement of Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero policy in China. At the same time, New Delhi is positioning India as a competitor for China’s manufacturing prowess. Redington, Apple’s local retailer, has risen in value since Foxconn’s coronavirus issues surfaced over the past week.
Counterpoint chief analyst Evan Lam said one of the big hurdles to ramping up production outside of China is that the majority of iPhone components are still built there and have to be shipped wherever the devices are assembled.
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All the major Taiwanese Apple suppliers – Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron Corp. iPhone assembly in India, supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fiscal stimulus programme. This has also helped boost iPhone exports from the South Asian country.
Apple first started assembling iPhones in India in 2017 via Wistron after years of efforts to build manufacturing capabilities in the country. And although India is a small consumer market for Apple at present, the country of 1.4 billion people presents a huge American giant for growth with growing income and internet connectivity.
With the help of Mark Gorman.
(Updates with Pegatron response)
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