Apple has typically relied on Chinese labour for the lion’s share of iPhone manufacturing, but that could be about to change.
The government of India has welcomed Apple’s proposed plans to start manufacturing iPhones there. In a post to Twitter, Priyank, Kharge the Minister for IT in the state of Karnataka – where initial manufacturing efforts would take place – praised the proposals as good news for India’s tech sector.
“Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster [a] cutting-edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state,” Kharge wrote.
Apple first hinted at the possibility of manufacturing in India after CEO Tim Cook met with PM Narendra Modi during a visit to the country last year. But it’s only in 2017 that the process has become formalised, as Apple executives met with Indian government officials back in January.
Today, Apple utilises the services of several different manufacturing companies, the most prominent of which are Foxconn and Pegatron. Both of these are Taiwanese companies who outsource manufacturing operations to China through mainland factories.
But India is an increasingly important market for China, with Apple shipping an impressive 2.6 million iPhones in the country last year – that’s a 62% share of premium phones sold in the country, according to Counterpoint.
Speaking about future plans for India, Cook said: “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country and believe it’s a great place to be.”
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