Made in India
The iPhone 15 is being manufactured in India. China remains Apple's primary manufacturing hub, and whilst they have been manufacturing iPhones in India since 2017, Apple have significantly ramped up production this year.
Apple's goal is to diversify their global production, which primarily resides in and relies heavily on China. Apple's China-based factories were faced with supply chain disruption and production challenges from 2020 to 2022 which ultimately led to product shortages and delays.
This, coupled with increasing diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China has given tech manufacturers a huge incentive to diversify their production out of China. Microsoft recently shifted part of its manufacturing of the Xbox to India, and Amazon are now making Fire TV devices in Vietnam.
The move also saves on import tariffs, which are particularly high for electronics in India. The iPhone 14 cost 23% more in India than in the U.S.! India is a third-world country, but you'd expect of its population to have a smartphone in the near future. With their 1.4 billion people, India are about to overtake China to become the most populated nation. Therefore, it makes sense for manufacturers to take steps to meet anticipated demand, and to make their products more affordable in these countries.
It's spreading the risk: Being reliant on one country for your production is a very fragile system. You wouldn't want all your eggs in one basket would you?
It also exposes them to potential upside in an ever-changing world: Even if China is the the best place to manufacture today, who's to say India won't be the manufacturing powerhouse of the 2030's? We know that India have been on the rise in recent years, with experts suggesting that they could become the next great economic power. Getting in early could be an advantage.
In January 2023, 5% to 7% of all iPhones were manufactured in India, and the company’s goal is to increase that to 25%. That's a lofty goal, but coming from the worlds biggest, most profitable company, it suggests that India has the potential to establish itself as a major player in tech manufacturing.
Like China, Apple's plant in India is run by Foxconn - so they know what they're doing, but goodness knows what's involved in re-creating an operation in a different country, with very different laws and culture.
Already, I've seen photos and videos highlighting quality control issues with new iPhones coming out of Indian factories: dust behind camera lens', chips and dents in the housing etc. Given that they're designed to go viral, it's impossible to say how legitimate the leaks are or how serious these issues could prove to be.
No doubt their will be some teething problems, which we may or may not hear about. India is rife with corruption, and millions live in extreme poverty. This could be problematic. But if there's one thing you can guarantee, it's Apple's incredible ability to consistently uphold their brand and deliver products that consumers desire.
I guess you'll have to buy an iPhone 15 and see for yourself.
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