SAN FRANCISCO: As Apple plans to shift more iPhone production away from China to India, it is now reportedly looking to also move the production of some iPads to India to keep its supply chain healthy amid Covid-related disruptions.
Apple has "talked to Indian officials about locating some iPad manufacturing in the country as US-China relations sour and China's Covid crackdowns snarl supply chains," reports CNBC, citing sources.
Apple is planning to shift iPad manufacturing to India as the company looks to move up to 30 per cent of its manufacturing outside of China.
The report said that no concrete plans have been made yet, "but if the effort is successful, it would expand Apple's footprint in the country".
Apple did not comment on the report.
In India, Apple iPads logged an impressive 34 per cent growth (on-year) in India in the second quarter (Q2) and the company sold over 0.2 million devices in the country, according to CMR.
Apple iPad (Gen 9) and iPad Air 2022 accounted for a lion's share of the iPad shipments, according to the CMR Q2 data.
The tech giant is also fast forwarding its manufacturing plans in India and Vietnam in the wake of China unrest over zero-Covid policy which has severely disrupted its supply chain, leading to an acute shortage of new iPhone 14 Pro models.
The Wall Street Journal reported over the last weekend that the company is "telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam" in order to "reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn".
The China upheaval, which hit its key supplier Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory last month resulting in violent protests, means "Apple no longer feels comfortable having so much of its business tied up in one place," the report said, citing analysts and people in the Apple supply chain.
Apple aims to ship 40-45 per cent of iPhones from India compared with a single-digit percentage currently, according to famed analyst Ming-chi Kuo.
Kuo has predicted that iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter this year are likely to reach around 70 million to 75 million units, nearly 10 million less than market projections before the China turmoil.
Every fourth iPhone will be made in India by 2025, according to J.P. Morgan.
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.