For years, China has had supremacy when it comes to manufacturing new iPhone models, but the pattern is set to change as Foxconn Technology Group, Apple’s contract manufacturer and a primary manufacturer of iPhones would begin assembling the iPhone 14 device at a facility near the southern state of Chennai “almost simultaneously” with China this year. The locally assembled iPhone 14 models would give a big boost to Apple’s Make In India plans and serve a big portion of the country’s iPhone buying population, market analysts said on Tuesday.
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The Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant has long been trying to cut its dependence on China as a manufacturing base for its iPhones and weeks ago, famed Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo was the first to say that at least one iPhone 14 model would be manufactured in India almost simultaneously with China.
Talking to ABP Live, Manish Rawat, Analyst at Massachusetts-headquartered Strategy Analytics said: “It won’t completely close the gap between India and China, but this will undoubtedly narrow it. Certainly, the move will put a dent in China’s supremacy in global manufacturing. Apple’s iPhone is the top smartphone brand in China, and it accounts for a large percentage of its revenue. The company couldn’t risk jeopardising its dominance in China by focusing on India. Apple needs to prioritise China first, followed by India production. If it is to launch (iPhone 14 series) smoothly, it must focus on China first.”
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“The local assembly of iPhones would probably serve a large portion, if not the entirety, of India’s potential market,” Rawat added.
India’s contribution to global iPhone shipments
Currently, India contributes three per cent towards the global iPhone shipments and six per cent towards iPhone shipments in the Asia Pacific region.
According to Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, new iPhone models in India normally get assembled locally 7-8 months after they are launched and contribute to almost 25 per cent-30 per cent of iPhone sales in the launch quarter. “This means that the iPhone maker not only pays greater than 20 per cent duty on the new iPhones that impact pricing, but also misses on taking advantage of the Diwali sales, festive season and holiday season, in case it wants to pass on some duty benefits to consumers,” Pathak told ABP Live.
Also read: Apple iPhone 14 Series Launching Earlier Than iPhone 13 And Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Knows Why
Echoing similar sentiments, Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC said: “iPhone is not only flagship in the smartphone industry but one of the finest electronics pieces today on earth. With the latest model iPhone 14 being manufactured out of India, it is definitely going to underscore India’s capability to handle the manufacturing of such a complex and advanced device. Globally, it will send a positive message that if India can manufacture the pinnacle of smart devices, it can do well in any other electronics.”
Even though Apple and Foxconn were initially aiming to start producing iPhone models in India and China simultaneously this year, the first iPhone 14 models in India may be finished only in late October or November. The production of iPhone models in countries apart from China is usually aimed at meeting global demand.
The tech giant is set to unveil the new iPhone 14 lineup at its Far Out event tomorrow (September 7). The company is also expected to announce the Apple Watch Pro and new AirPods Pro. Apple is also hosting the event in person for the first time in two years as the last year’s iPhone 13 launch and 2020’s iPhone 12 launches were online only due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Far Out event would be also streamed online for everybody else.
The launch of the iPhone 14 series is perhaps the most hyped launch of the year. This year, Apple is likely to discontinue the iPhone mini and the iPhone 14 series may comprise the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max models. In terms of design, we can expect the biggest change in the pricier iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max which are said to do away with the notch in favour of a pill-shaped hole-punch cutout on top.