Apple plans to start manufacturing the new iPhone 14 in India two months after the device’s release in China, narrowing the technology production gap between the two countries.
The company is working with suppliers to ramp up production in India and build to the latest device within the usual six to nine months for iPhones, according to Bloomberg News. Apple has long made most of its iPhones in China, but is now looking at alternatives amid the country’s dispute with the US government and the continued lockdowns that have hampered economic activity in China.
Some analysts, including TF International Securities Group’s Ming-Chi Kuo, said they expect Apple to launch the new iPhone from both countries simultaneously.
Apple and Foxconn Technology Group, the leading iPhone maker in the two countries, have decided that a simultaneous launch will probably not happen this year.
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The first iPhone 14s from India will be released in early September and will be out by late October or November.
As China grapples with COVID-19 lockdowns and US sanctions, India is promoting itself as an alternative to iPhone production. It would be a huge achievement for India to match China’s pace of iPhone production.
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And while some people at Apple and Foxconn wanted to start production simultaneously in India this year, that was never an official plan. Apple had planned to focus on setting up its Chinese operations first before building its products in India, according to Bloomberg.
Apple’s partners began manufacturing the iPhone in 2017 amid a multi-year effort to build manufacturing capacity in India. The Modi administration has offered financial incentives for technology manufacturing under the Make in India programme.
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If Apple and Foxconn had planned to launch simultaneously, supply chain challenges would have thwarted that ambition. China is the source of many iPhone parts but has had several coronavirus lockdowns that have complicated the process of shipping parts into the country.