In light of the U.S. and China's ongoing trade war, there has been much talk of Apple relocating its production to countries outside of China. Although it is not clear yet whether Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner will move its current operations out of China, a new report from Reuters has confirmed that the most expensive range of iPhones will soon be assembled in Foxconn's Indian manufacturing facility. Reportedly, this deal involves manufacturing of a limited selection of Apple's products, specifically the high-end models such as the iPhone X series. This is a big deal for the world's largest electronics producer, as it has never carried out operations for top-end iPhones in India before. Previously Apple focused on producing only lower-end models in India, at Wistron Corp's Indian plant.
Situated in the Tamil town of Sriperumbudur, the factory will serve as an excellent stimulant for India's economy. It will also create employment opportunities for around 25,000 people. To facilitate the deal, Foxconn plans to expand its Indian plant funded by a hefty investment of $356 million. Apple is yet to reveal any information regarding Foxconn's move, including details confirming whether the Indian factory will focus solely on iPhone assembly or manufacture components as well.
Ever since U.S. president Donald Trump announced plans to increase tariffs on imports from China, Apple has been in a delicate position. Navkendar Singh, an associate research director at International Data Corporation, commented on Apple's plan, "Widening iPhone manufacturing in India through Foxconn will allow Apple to hedge the risk of any new U.S. trade policies." Perhaps this deal will provide a cost-effective solution to Apple's production-related hurdle.