According to rumors, the iPhone 14 will begin manufacturing simultaneously in China and India, greatly enhancing the lineup’s early availability. But a recent report claimed that Apple has had to give up on this goal.
China-US Tensions Had Forced Apple to Warn Suppliers
The initiative has grown more critical as the potential of disruption in both China and Taiwan becomes more serious. Apple has long been making incremental progress toward decreasing its reliance on China as a manufacturing hub.
Due to tensions between the US and China in the area sparked by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives’ visit to Taiwan, Apple’s suppliers were left in the dark. Apple had allegedly warned suppliers of more Chinese retaliation after the holiday and warned that China’s reaction might hamper the shipping of iPhones or their components.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, predicted earlier this month that the manufacturing of the iPhone 14 would start concurrently in China and India. However, Bloomberg today reports that while Apple had hoped this would be possible, it has decided this isn’t feasible. Instead, it aims to reduce the delay between launch production in China and later output in India.
Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India about two months after its initial release in China, narrowing the gap between the two countries but not closing it completely as some had anticipated.
The company has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and shorten the new iPhone’s production lag from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, according to people familiar with the matter.
This would still be a significant improvement over the old assembly schedule, but starting at the same time was seen as quite optimistic for two reasons. First, China has a vast network of supply chains, which India doesn’t have. Second, Apple was worried that India was a place where privacy was more likely to be broken.
Local executives in India examined entirely cornering off a section of one of Foxconn’s multiple assembly lines, sequestering workers, and scrutinizing all possible ways in which the security around the device could be compromised, according to two of the people. Thus far, the drastic security controls and stringent seclusion of its China facilities would be challenging to replicate, one of the people said.
According to the source, the iPhone 14’s manufacturing starting in India in late October is the most achievable target at the moment. In an attempt to maintain a continuous supply chain in the event of a disaster, manufacturers are embracing the strategy of having their facilities in alternate nations due to the rising tensions between China and several other countries.