Apple has started manufacturing iPhone 14 models in India. This will be the first time Apple will be producing them locally. The localized production will be their attempt to deal with the huge number of demand that they have seen from the Indian population. In future we can expect to see them making even more of an effort to create Indian-specific products. The iPhone 14 will be manufactured by Apple at a plant near Chennai and will be in India.
Apple began assembling smartphones in India in 2017, but until this year, the iPhone-maker has used the facilities to assemble older generation phone models. This month, Apple launched its new iPhone 14 models at their manufacturing in India.
Apple analysts estimate that India is going to become a manufacturing hub for iPhones in the next 5 or so years.
In the last few years, Apple’s manufacturing partners Foxconn and Wistron invested in India thanks to its subsidies. India offers ample labor resources as well as competitive labor costs, making it a desirable location for JP Morgan analysts.
“Initial response to the latest models in India has been lukewarm, mainly due to lack of customized designs. This could change soon as the latest Indian government is encouraging local manufacturing.”
Apple is only producing the iPhone 14/14 Plus models in India because the more complex camera module alignment of the iPhone Pro series cannot be done by EMS vendors, and there is higher local market demand for the iPhone 16 series. This volume will start off small in 4Q22 at about 1 million units per month, or 5% of total iPhone volume.
As Apple expands its local production in India, Indians have high hopes for affordable handsets. The entry level iPhone 14 costs $1,099 in the U.S., but an equivalent model in India could cost as much as $980. iPhones are generally cheaper in the U.S., even though the starting price is about $400 more than what it is stateside.
In the past five years, even with a small market share, Apple has broadened its investment in India. The company opened their online store and is working towards opening a physical store in India.
For example, one company identified India as a key hub for global manufacturing. Apple-rival Samsung set up one of their largest factories in the country. Other companies like Xiaomi also locally assemble some of their phones.
Google is planning to start manufacturing some of its Pixel smartphones in India, according to recent reports. The move comes after Google struggled to bring flagship models to India for two generations.