Only weeks after they begin shipping from Chinese facilities, a Foxconn Technology Group unit in Sriperumbudur is poised to provide the latest products.

Apple Inc.’s next-generation Apple iPhone 15 has begun production in Tamil Nadu, bridging the gap between its India operations and its primary manufacturing base in China.

According to persons familiar with the situation, a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Sriperumbudur is poised to provide the latest gadgets just weeks after they begin shipping from facilities in China, as the company tries to rapidly increase the volume of new iPhones coming from India.

The Cupertino, California-based company is embarking on a multiyear strategy to diversify its manufacturing away from China, de-risking the supply chain for its most essential goods as trade tensions between the United States and China make trade less predictable. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has attempted to strengthen ties with the United States and establish itself as a manufacturing centre.

Prior to the iPhone 14, Apple only had a fraction of its iPhone assembly in India, which was six to nine months behind China manufacturing. Last year, the wait was dramatically reduced, and Apple produced 7% of its iPhones in India by the end of March. The goal for this year is to get closer to parity in shipment schedule between India and China, though suppliers are not yet positive they can achieve it, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public.

The volume of iPhone 15 production in India will be determined by the ready availability of components, the majority of which are imported, and the smooth ramp-up of production lines at the Foxconn factory near Chennai.

The new iPhone, which is expected to be released on September 12, promises to be the most significant improvement to the smartphone in three years. It will contain significant improvements to the camera system across the board, with the Pro models receiving an enhanced 3-nanometer processor. The new handset line is vital to restoring sagging sales. This month, Apple revealed its third consecutive quarter of falling revenue, weighed down by sluggish consumer demand in important regions such as the United States, China, and Europe.

Other Apple suppliers in India, including Pegatron Corp. and a Wistron Corp. facility being bought by the Tata Group, will shortly produce the iPhone 15, according to the sources.

Wistron and Pegatron personnel, as well as an Apple spokesperson, declined to comment. Foxconn did not respond to a comment request.

Apple has slowly increased its presence in India through Taiwanese suppliers, taking advantage of some of the Modi administration’s financial incentives to attract more high-end manufacturing. According to Bloomberg News, Apple tripled iPhone production in India to more than $7 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March.

Apple, which established its first retail outlets in the country in April, now sees the fast-growing India market as a retail potential as well as a long-term production base for its gadgets. Although Apple has not provided specific figures, iPhone sales in India increased by double digits to a record high in the quarter ending June.

Apple is “committed to growing and investing across the country,” declared CEO Tim Cook after meeting Modi during his April visit to India.

By Deesha

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