Apple is said to be considering moving some of its iPad production from China to India, according to a report by CNBC. The tech giant is said to be in discussions with Indian government officials, but no concrete plans have been made at this time. If successful, this move would expand Apple's presence in India.
Apple's plans to move more of its supply chain away from China comes after protests in the country over the past two weeks due to Beijing's strict zero-Covid policy. In November, the tech giant warned that iPhone shipments would be delayed because of lockdowns in China. As a result, analysts have been reducing their iPhone manufacturing estimates for the crucial holiday quarter.
Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017, starting with the iPhone SE. In 2020, the company started producing the iPhone 11 in India, marking the first time that a high-end iPhone was being produced in the country. Another milestone was reached in 2022 when Foxconn India started making the iPhone 14, which was the first time that a new iPhone model was manufactured in the country in the same calendar year as its launch.
However, sources warn that the lack of highly skilled talent and individuals with expertise in building complex devices like the iPad could hinder these plans in India. The current foreign policy climate is also not conducive to the move, with tensions between India and China increasing. The two countries have been involved in territorial disputes in recent years, leading to an escalated military presence at the India-China border.
In addition to producing current-generation iPhones with Foxconn in India, Apple also diversified its portfolio of contract manufacturers in the country by outsourcing some orders to Pegatron and Wistron in the country.
Meanwhile, Foxconn is planning to quadruple its workforce in India to address future iPhone shortage. Reuters reports that JP Morgan estimates Apple will move almost 25% of iPhone production to India by 2025. As for the iPad and Apple Watch, Vietnam is expected to receive 20% of the net production volume. The company is also considering Malaysia and the US as potential production sites.
Source: CNBC via WSJ