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Apple stepping up iPhone move to India: report – Taipei Times

Apple Inc might make one out of four iPhones in India by 2025, JPMorgan & Chase Co analysts said yesterday, as the tech giant moves some production away from China, amid mounting geopolitical tensions and strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.

JPMorgan expects Apple to move about 5 percent of iPhone 14 production from late this year to India, which is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world after China.

It is also estimating that about 25 percent of all Apple products, including Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods, would be manufactured outside China by 2025 from 5 percent currently.

Photo: Reuters

The US company has bet big on India since it began iPhone assembly in the country in 2017 via Wistron Corp (緯創), and later with Pegatron Corp (和碩) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), also known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) internationally, in line with the Indian government’s push for local manufacturing.

The COVID-19 pandemic hampered supply chain relocation plans for businesses, but with restrictions easing, more companies, including Apple, are reaccelerating these efforts this year.

“Taiwanese vendors such as Hon Hai and Pegatron play a key role in the relocation to India. In the medium to long term, we also expect Apple to qualify local India manufacturing suppliers,” said JPMorgan analysts led by Gokul Hariharan, who is rated 4 out of 5 for estimates accuracy.

A Bloomberg report earlier this month said that Indian conglomerate Tata Group was in talks with Wistron to establish a joint venture to assemble iPhones in the country amid Apple’s plans to cut production lag with China.

In other news, the Indian government yesterday raised fiscal support for new semiconductor facilities to cover 50 percent of project costs and said it would remove a ceiling for maximum permitted investment for display manufacturing as it moves to boost local production.

The announcement comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seeks to attract more big-ticket investments under a US$10 billion incentive plan for chip and display production, aiming to make India a key player in the global supply chain.

“On the basis of discussion with potential investors, it is expected that work on setting up the first semiconductor facility will commence soon,” a government statement said.

The government had previously agreed to cover between 30 and 50 percent of the cost of setting up new display and chip plants.

The government yesterday said it would also cover 50 percent of the capital expenditure required to set up semiconductor packaging facilities.

Last week, oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta Ltd and Hon Hai signed a pact with India’s Gujarat to invest US$19.5 billion in the western state to set up semiconductor and display production plants.

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