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Asia Minute: Apple steps up factory production in India

India Apple iphone 14
Jeff Chiu/AP
FILE - New iPhone 14 models on display at an Apple event on the campus of Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Sept. 7, 2022. Apple Inc. will manufacture its latest iPhone 14 in India, the company said on Monday, as it seeks to curb its production in China. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Apple is the latest global company to announce it is shifting some of its factory production outside China. The product is the newest iPhone, the other country is India, and the work is already underway.

Appleʻs newest iPhone is already rolling off factory production lines in southern India.

The company announced the move on Monday — as an effort to diversify supply chains away from an overreliance on China.

Apple has been making iPhones in India for the past five years — but mostly older models.

What's unusual about the current development is that the iPhone 14 has just hit the market — making India part of the initial wave of manufacturing.

In a twist where international business meets geopolitical concerns, the company that puts together the most iPhones in China is Taiwanese.

Foxconn is an electronics contract manufacturer based in Taiwan, with extensive factories in mainland China — and according to local media reports, it will be the main company involved in producing the latest iPhones in India.

Last week, JP Morgan analysts sent a note to clients saying Apple will likely move 5% of iPhone 14 production to India by late this year — and expand capacity to make a quarter of all iPhones in India by 2025.

While Apple is boosting its production in India, its sales are another matter.

The iPhone trails cheaper models from China and South Korea in the Indian market.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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