Apple rumored to begin iPhone production in India by end of 2017

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2016
Amid rumors that Apple is ramping up efforts to sell its wares in India, a report on Thursday claims the company is "very serious" about starting up iPhone production operations in the country by the end of 2017.




Citing industry sources, The Times of India reports Apple supplier Wistron is currently prepping an iPhone assembly facility in Peenya, an industrial center in the city of Bengaluru. The plant is slated to start production in April.

With Wistron on board, it appears Apple plans to assemble its handset in India prior to transitioning to full blown manufacture. Beyond the logistical benefits of producing a product in-country, an Indian iPhone manufacturing plant will help Apple keep local prices competitive by avoiding a steep 12.5 percent import duty.

While no commitment has been made, the report suggests the company is considering Bengaluru as a base of operations.

"Bangalore is being looked at seriously," said Wistron sources.

Backing up industry scuttlebutt, Apple this month posted to its Jobs at Apple webpage a pair of production related listings in Bengaluru. Specifically, the company is looking for an iPhone Operations Program Manager (OPM) and a New Product Introduction (NPI) Product Quality Manager, both of which list years of manufacturing experience as a prerequisite to hire.

Bengaluru is quickly becoming a major hub for Apple's India operations. In July, the company leased more than 40,000 square feet of office space in the city for a planned Design and Development Accelerator. Set to open next year, the accelerator will assist local software developers in coding for Apple's various platforms including iOS, watchOS and tvOS.

Today's news comes amid reports that Apple is looking to India to bolster waning Chinese market sales. Though the region has a less than voracious appetite for high end smartphones, data from Counterpoint Research in November suggests Apple is leading the segment with a 66 percent share of premium handset sales.

There is still much to negotiate before Apple decides to move forward with manufacturing plans. For example, it was reported today that the company in November requested India waive the requirement to print product information like technical specifications and bill of materials directly on an iPhone's casing, a stipulation that would sully the device's minimalist design.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Interesting. Logistically,  I don't see this landlocked location making a great deal sense for building up any significant scale. So, I am guessing it must be a smaller set-up, with Apple and its suppliers getting a feel for doing business in India while they ramp up a bigger facility (the one mentioned in the previous story was Bhiwandi, which is near Bombay, and makes far more sense for building scale). 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Interesting. Logistically,  I don't see this landlocked location making a great deal sense for building up any significant scale. So, I am guessing it must be a smaller set-up, with Apple and its suppliers getting a feel for doing business in India while they ramp up a bigger facility (the one mentioned in the previous story was Bhiwandi, which is near Bombay, and makes far more sense for building scale). 
    Other IT companies have been doing this in Bangalore for over a decade. HP is one such company. Landlocked doesn't matter when you are only going to sell in the domestic market.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Interesting. Logistically,  I don't see this landlocked location making a great deal sense for building up any significant scale. So, I am guessing it must be a smaller set-up, with Apple and its suppliers getting a feel for doing business in India while they ramp up a bigger facility (the one mentioned in the previous story was Bhiwandi, which is near Bombay, and makes far more sense for building scale). 
    Other IT companies have been doing this in Bangalore for over a decade. HP is one such company. Landlocked doesn't matter when you are only going to sell in the domestic market.
    I am guessing it's quite unlikely that Apple is going to be manufacturing only for local sales. But my guess is as good as yours. 
    MacPro
  • Reply 4 of 7
    So, Cook has been using the excuse that he can't move production to the US because the Chinese are so much more highly trained, the infrastructure is so much more advanced, the supply chain is so much better in terms of logistics, etc.

    But he CAN move production to India. Can all those above mentioned advantages be said to exist in India? NO! Is India better prepared to build phones than the USA. Of course not — unless you weigh in that Apple and the Indian government will be granted the right to force Indians to work under the same repressive conditions that they have with the Chinese workers. (No, India is not an autocracy, but in such a poverty engulfed country, money screams.)

    The real reason is PURE POLITICS. Cook has made a deal with the devil so so can sell more phones in India, so he can brag at the next investors earnings call.

    God forbid Cook could have the backbone to persevere, and tell India that its more important for America to have this production moved to the US, to help save our country. I hope Trump crushes him if he tries to move that production there, pushing the US further into the arms of Thirdworldhood.
    tzm41gatorguyanantksundaramMacProtaniwha
  • Reply 5 of 7
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    Interesting. Logistically,  I don't see this landlocked location making a great deal sense for building up any significant scale. So, I am guessing it must be a smaller set-up, with Apple and its suppliers getting a feel for doing business in India while they ramp up a bigger facility (the one mentioned in the previous story was Bhiwandi, which is near Bombay, and makes far more sense for building scale). 
    I'm a tad surprised that Wistron is doing the setup since FoxConn already has some smartphone manufacturing facilities in India according to an article about Xiaomi's phones for the Indian market being built there. 
  • Reply 6 of 7
    dentaldoc said:
    So, Cook has been using the excuse that he can't move production to the US because the Chinese are so much more highly trained, the infrastructure is so much more advanced, the supply chain is so much better in terms of logistics, etc.

    But he CAN move production to India. Can all those above mentioned advantages be said to exist in India? NO! Is India better prepared to build phones than the USA. Of course not — unless you weigh in that Apple and the Indian government will be granted the right to force Indians to work under the same repressive conditions that they have with the Chinese workers. (No, India is not an autocracy, but in such a poverty engulfed country, money screams.)

    The real reason is PURE POLITICS. Cook has made a deal with the devil so so can sell more phones in India, so he can brag at the next investors earnings call.

    God forbid Cook could have the backbone to persevere, and tell India that its more important for America to have this production moved to the US, to help save our country. I hope Trump crushes him if he tries to move that production there, pushing the US further into the arms of Thirdworldhood.
    You make some good points. My guess is that if/when Apple builds iPhones or whatever in India, they'll be made in almost fully automated facilities. India is not known for meticulous attention to detail, or the level of perfectionism that Apple demands. Having workers assemble devices by hand would never work in here. I could see Apple assembling teams of developers to build the software for automated factories.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    None of those countries have EPA watchdogs, Labor dept, Obamacare, nor legions of lawyers waiting to file class action or sexual harassment lawsuits.  Jobs going to these countries is all about avoiding regulatory bodies and labor costs.  Apple claims to be the most PC company but yet does nothing PC about putting jobs overseas to some of the least educated countries with no safety standards or labor protection.
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