Since 2017, China is no longer the only country where Apple has its phones manufactured. The Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn, known for being responsible for assembling iPhones and iPads, is also mobilizing its factories in India for the production of phones from the Apple brand. But with the new generation of iPhone, which is to be unveiled this Wednesday evening by Apple CEO Tim Cook, the brand intends to go further: for several months, the company has launched an “action plan” to diversify the manufacture of its new devices.
An “action plan” to produce elsewhere than in China
Ming-Chi Kuo, a financial analyst known for his solid information and predictions on Apple, explained last April on Twitter: “Apple’s sites for new product launches are almost all based in China” – the other factories resume the manufacture of the products, but only for a second time.
If trade tensions between China and the United States have long been pushing Apple to think about alternativesit is the recent health situation that seems to have served as a trigger: “Two years ago, at the start of the epidemic, Apple considered the possibility of setting up launch sites outside of China, but it remained at the proposal stage. However, after the recent lockdowns in China, building these sites elsewhere is no longer a proposal but a plan of action.“, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.
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If there is no question of leaving China completely, Apple does not want to put all its eggs in one basket. It is for this reason that Foxconn has also launched the production of Apple products in India.
Towards earlier production in India?
Does this mean that buyers who rush to buy the iPhone 14 (and probably the iPhone Pro, iPhone Plus and iPhone Pro Plus) will have a chance to have a model assembled elsewhere? in China ? Well: still not. According to information from Bloomberg in the United States, Apple still hasn’t managed to match the timing of the launch of its channels production in China and India.
In particular, a weaker capacity, on the Indian side, to avoid leaks of information on new models. The transport of Chinese spare parts to India, and therefore the passage of customs, increases the risk of leaks, which Apple, follower of the culture of secrecy around its new products, wants to avoid as much as possible.
There will still be a clear evolution with these iPhone 14 models: until now, the lag between the start of production in China and that in India was six to nine months. This time around, India is expected to start producing iPhones as early as late October or early November.which is a clear acceleration of the production chain.
“Unworthy” working conditions in India
On the other hand, if it is a question of distancing itself from China for health and commercial questions, it is not yet a question for Apple to take into account the social aspect of its production: the Foxconn factory in Sriperumbudur in India, one of those where iPhones are produced, closed last December after a strike by employees denouncing unworthy working conditions – it has only partially reopened since.