In a significant development, Apple may introduce a limited number of iPhone 15 models manufactured in India on its launch day, marking a departure from its usual production timeline. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been producing iPhones in India since 2017, but it typically took nearly a year to reach full-scale production. This time, a small batch of iPhones manufactured in India may hit the market immediately upon release, not only in India but also in select other regions.
This strategic move aligns with Apple’s ongoing efforts to diversify its manufacturing operations in response to supply chain vulnerabilities stemming from tensions between the United States and China. Foxconn, an Apple contractor, is set to increase iPhone 15 production at its facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The number of units available on launch day from India will hinge on the availability of components sourced from other regions and Foxconn’s production capabilities.
Historically, Apple’s iPhone production in India has lagged behind that of China by six to nine months. However, a significant change occurred with the iPhone 14 release when both Foxconn and another manufacturer, Pegatron, commenced production in India within the same month as the global launch. Apple has a long-term vision to shift 25 percent of its overall production to India.
Despite recent tensions between the United States and China, Apple has managed to navigate these challenges relatively unscathed. This is due, in part, to the substantial workforce employed by Foxconn and other suppliers in China, as well as Apple’s adherence to local laws, including the removal of numerous illegal apps such as VPNs. Nevertheless, recent actions in China, including the ban on iPhones and other foreign devices for government officials, have left Apple in a more precarious position than usual. China also represents a substantial market for Apple, accounting for approximately 19 percent of its total revenue.
Today, Apple is poised to unveil the iPhone 15 at its Cupertino headquarters, with expected enhancements such as thinner bezels, a titanium frame, and USB-C charging, among others. Additionally, consumers can anticipate updates to Apple’s wearable products and AirPods, along with the introduction of its latest operating systems: iOS 17, watchOS 10, and iPadOS 17.