Apple Inc.’s iPhone exports from India have topped $1 billion in the five months since April, people familiar with the matter say, signaling that the South Asian nation is making progress in its bid to become a strength in the manufacture of electronic products.
At the current rate, outbound shipments of Indian-made iPhones, mostly to Europe and the Middle East, are expected to reach $2.5 billion in the 12 months to March 2023, the sources said. That’s almost double the $1.3 billion worth of iPhones India exported in the year to March 2022, the people said, asking not to be named as the data is not public.
While India accounts for only a small fraction of iPhone production, the increase in exports bodes well for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to make the country an alternative to China as a factory for the world. Apple, which has long made most of its iPhones in China, is looking for alternatives as Xi Jinping’s administration clashes with the US government and imposes shutdowns across the country that have disrupted economic activity.
“Apple’s healthy growth in manufacturing scale and exports shows that India is gradually assuming an important position in the company’s China plus one strategy,” said technology researcher Navkendar Singh, analyst at IDC. . “And for India, this is a big sign of the success of its financial incentive program.”
Apple representatives did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company flirted with the idea of manufacturing its prized iPhones in India for years before Modi’s $6 billion incentive push in 2020 prompted the US tech giant to bring its suppliers to speed up production.
Apple’s main Taiwanese contractors, Foxconn Technology Group, Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp., currently manufacture iPhones in factories in southern India. All three have won manufacturing incentives under a federal government plan.
Admittedly, India is still far behind China. About 3 million iPhones were made in India last year, compared to 230 million in China, according to Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.
Devices exported from India from April to August this year include iPhone 11, 12 and 13 models, and exports of the new 14 line will start soon, the people said. Apple started manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India last month – ahead of schedule – after a surprisingly smooth production rollout that reduced the lag between Chinese and Indian production from months to weeks.
Beyond smartphones, India is drawing up plans to increase financial incentives for tablet and laptop makers, hoping to entice Apple to manufacture MacBooks and iPads locally as well as attract business. other brands.
But leaving China, where Apple has built a deep supply chain for nearly two decades, isn’t easy. A Bloomberg Intelligence analysis estimated that it would take around eight years to move just 10% of Apple’s production capacity out of China, where around 98% of the company’s iPhones are made. What are they waiting for?”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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