As global tensions between the US and China continue to mount, Apple is diversifying its manufacturing capabilities for the iPhone from China to India. While parts for the iPhone are manufactured throughout the world, a vast majority of the final assembly occurs in a massive plant in Zhengzhou, China.
This facility, owned by Taiwan-based Foxconn, is capable of cranking out half a million devices each day.
According to some sources, Apple will scale down production in China by 35% next year, scaling up its production in India to compensate.
Apple has maintained a relationship with Wilstron, a Taiwanese manufacturer with facilities in India, which has produced a small percentage of iPhone devices since 2016.
In 2020, the Wilstron facility was at the center of a controversy where workers rioted over non-payment causing $7 million in damages to the iPhone factory and shuttering its production capabilities for several months.
In October 2023, Wilstron sold this facility to Indian conglomerate The Tata Group for $125 million.
Tata is expected to take over the facility and control of the manufacturing and produce 5% of the global supply of iPhones in 2023.
This is expected to ramp up in the coming years as work is shifted away from China.
In fact, some sources are reporting that the manufacturing of the iPhone 17, expected in the fall of 2025, may commence in India instead of China.
If true, this signals that Apple is serious about diversifying its manufacturing capabilities to ensure that it is protected against any political entanglements between the US and China.
China has also begun to shift some of its reliance on US-owned technology in an effort to rely more heavily upon state-run technology companies.