iPhone 14 models may also be made in India, as per a report. Apple is planning to use its manufacturing lines in the country to supplement the iPhone 14 production in China amid geopolitical issues and disrupted economic activity due to COVID restrictions in the country that has been making Apple handsets for a long time now. However, Apple is reportedly worried about the high standards it maintains for the product secrecy amid India expansion efforts. The first batch of iPhone 14 from India are likely to be finished in late October or November.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Apple that Apple is working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and is seeking alternatives “as Xi Jinping’s administration clashes with the US government and imposes lockdowns across the country that have disrupted economic activity.” The iPhone 14 models are planned to go into production in India about two months after the product’s initial release out of China. The report highlights that the move will narrow the manufacturing gap between the two countries.
Apple is apparently working to shorten the lag in production of the new iPhone models from the typical six to nine months for previous launches. At the same time, it wants to find an alternative that will also minimise the impact of geopolitical tensions between China and the US administration as well as reduce the implications of disrupted economic activity due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The first iPhone 14 series of smartphones from India are likely to be finished in late October or November.
China will still be an important part of iPhone 14 manufacturing to ensure a smooth launch as the country is the source of many iPhone components. Reportedly, Apple wants to focus on getting the China operations up to speed first and then work out the India production. One of the persons with knowledge of this matter says that “some people within Apple and Foxconn had hoped to begin simultaneous production in India this year, but that was never an official plan.”
Choosing India as an alternative to China could be an ‘important milestone’ for both Apple and India. The country’s touted attractiveness as an alternative to manufacture iPhone 14 models could jeopardize China’s position as a factory to the world. However, setting up India manufacturing units comes with its own challenges such as product secrecy and maintaining high standards.
The Bloomberg report says that imposing rigorous controls (in a second country) to keep new product details confidential would prove difficult. One of the people told the publication that drastic security controls and stringent seclusion of its China facilities would be challenging to replicate in India. Furthermore, Apple is “also concerned about Indian customs officials, who typically open up packages to check whether imported materials match their declarations, another potential vulnerability for product secrecy,” the report highlighted.