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Apple to double Indian iPhone production in 2024, says Ming-Chi Kuo

Foxconn's iPhone manufacturing facility in Sriperumbudur, India

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Wednesday that Apple will double iPhone production in India through 2024.

In recent years, India has emerged as a high-tech manufacturing and assembly hotspot as Apple and other businesses have sought to reduce overall dependency on China. The efforts have been further spurred by the Indian government's focus on developing local manufacturing and technology sectors.

A note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states Apple will double iPhone production in India through 2024. Multiple factors play into this development beyond Apple trying to decrease its reliance on China.

"In 2023, 12-14% of global iPhone shipments are made in India," he said. "If all goes well, the proportion of iPhones made in India will increase to 20-25% by 2024."

Kuo cited Foxconn's continued Indian manufacturing efforts and Indian conglomerate Tata Group's recent acquisition of Wistron's iPhone production lines in India as reasons for the change.

The Indian government recently announced Tata Group's acquisition of Wistron's iPhone production facilities, turning iPhone assembly over to an Indian business for the first time.

The $125 million transaction was announced over the summer and completed last week. Kuo said that the Tata deal will help Apple strengthen its relationship with the Indian government.

"This move will benefit future sales of iPhones and other products in India and is critical to Apple's growth over the next decade," Kuo added.

Another reason cited by Kuo the rapid Indian expansion of another Chinese Apple assembly partner, Luxshare. Luxshare has grown from making iPhone cables in 2011 to doubling its iPhone production in 2022, and soon will be putting together the Vision Pro for Apple. Luxshare chairperson Wang Laichun recently said that her firm is currently producing three of four iPhone 15 models.

iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro Max

After threatening to throttle imports made by Apple and other companies over the summer, the Indian government dialed back its plans with a new program launched in November to more carefully account for them.

Deputy IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the new program is part of an effort to reduce India's trade deficit with China and to ensure that only trusted hardware and systems are imported to the country.

Kuo sees Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn's production scale in its Zhengzhou and Taiyuan, China facilities as decreasing "by 35-45% and 75-85%, respectively," in 2024 as Foxconn turns to India and Apple spreads its bets with companies like Luxshare.

"Foxconn owns 75-80% of the iPhone production capacity in India," Kuo said in his note.

Kuo anticipates that Apple will begin development of a new iPhone model in India for the first time in 2024, beginning with the iPhone 17 — a model not expected to publicly debut until the following year. The standard iPhone was chosen as the first model to be designed outside of China because it is seen as a low-risk device with a low difficulty design.