The Shift of Apple from China to India

Apple has finally expanded its operations in both manufacturing and sales to India as of this year.

Apple operations has finally expanded to both manufacturing and sales to India as of this year.

CEO Tim Cook stated last May, that “there are a lot of people coming into the middle class, and I really feel that India is at a tipping point, and it’s great to be there.”

Cook’s statement from a year ago essentially highlights Apple’s decision to expand its operations to India, considering the country has the potential to produce high-end products due to its large population and growing economy.

This expansion involves not only Apple, but also other tech giants, including Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm known for assembling iPhones. According to a Bloomberg report published earlier this month, the iOS developer now manufactures around 14% of iPhones in China – a fair percentage considering the giant’s current production stage.

The Indian government stated that Apple aims to produce 25% of its iPhones in the country. Given the current statistics showing 14% of iPhones produced in India, could this mean Apple surpass the 25% target by year-end?

This shift to India prompts several questions, with the most significant being: Has India become the new China for Apple? A simple “yes” would suffice.

It all Began in China

Apple initiated its foreign manufacturing operations in China in 2001, at a time when world’s second largest economy holds significant importance for Apple as it emerged as the largest producer, manufacturing 90% of the world’s iPhones, according to statistics.

Apart from iPhones, other Apple products such as iPads, iPods, and even MacBooks are also manufactured in China.

People assume the primary reason for the large-scale production of Apple products in China was cheap labor, unaware that the company’s assembly partners shifted towards more automated operations. Steve Jobs relocated Apple’s operations to China in 2001 because it was the only country with a vast and well-established supply chain network.

The shift in operations towards India commenced in 2022, coinciding with the production of the iPhone 14, which was announced to be manufactured in India. With escalating tensions between China and the United States, India stands as a promising contender to become the next manufacturing hub akin to China.

India now has a significant opportunity to position itself as the preferred alternative amid the strained relations between China and America. It’s akin to a new employee eager to showcase its capabilities to its employer, with Apple, as the prominent company it is, seeking the best available option for its operations.

The question worth asking is, will China produce a phone that could rival the new iPhone?

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