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Apple to produce 85% iPhones locally for ‘Make in India’ campaign

The import of iPhones to India is likely to come down to 15 per cent this year (from 50 per cent in 2019), while domestic manufacturing by the Cupertino-based tech giant is set to go up substantially to 85 per cent, according to market intelligence firm Cyber Media Research (CMR).

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the ease-of-doing business and friendly local manufacturing policies, Apple’s ‘Make in India’ iPhones will potentially account for close to 85 per cent of its total iPhone production for the country this year, industry experts said on Tuesday.

The import of iPhones to India is likely to come down to 15 per cent this year (from 50 per cent in 2019), while domestic manufacturing by the Cupertino-based tech giant is set to go up substantially to 85 per cent, according to market intelligence firm Cyber Media Research (CMR).

“Driven by a conducive policy environment and deepening manufacturing ecosystem in India, Apple’s Made-in-India iPhones will potentially account for close to 85 per cent of its total iPhone production this year,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said.

With the iPhone 14 series, Apple’s iPhone production in India is slated to jump from 7 million iPhones in 2021 to touch a new milestone of around 12 million iPhones in 2022, marking a significant growth of more than 71 per cent (year-on-year), Ram noted.

As per CMR, the contribution of domestic iPhone manufacturing in India jumped from 50 per cent in 2019 to 73 per cent in 2021. In the meantime, the percentage of imported iPhones to India decreased from 50 per cent in 2019 to 45 per cent in 2020, 27 per cent in 2021 and around 15 per cent this year - showing a significant a ‘make in India’ boom for Apple.

As per industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will start the production of new iPhone 14 in India “about six weeks” later from China. “The iPhone 14’s mass production schedule in India this year is still about six weeks behind China, but the gap has improved significantly,” Kuo said in a tweet this month.

“My latest survey indicates Foxconn’s iPhone production site in India will ship the new 6.1-inch iPhone 14 almost simultaneously with China for the first time in the second half of 2022 (India being one quarter or more behind in the past),” Kuo added.

It is an important milestone for Apple in building a non-Chinese iPhone production site in India. As the time difference between India and China has narrowly decreased in terms of manufacturing iPhones in the country, it is now expected that both countries would produce iPhone 15 simultaneously in 2023.

The tech giant has been working with its suppliers and ramping up its production in India over the years. Apple sold over 1.2 million iPhones in the country in the Q2 this year, registering a massive 94 per cent growth (year-on-year).

Apple first started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017, with iPhone SE. The tech giant manufactures some of its most advanced iPhones in the country, including iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 at the Foxconn facility while iPhone SE and iPhone 12 are being assembled at the Wistron factory in the country.

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