Another major Apple manufacturer could build iPhone factory in India

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
India is an increasingly important part of Apple's supply chain.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Yet another major Apple contract manufacturer is embracing India as a possible location for building iPhones. According to Bloomberg, Pegatron is the third major iPhone maker — after Foxconn and Wistron — to explore setting up a plant in India.

The publication notes that:

“Pegatron is now setting up a local subsidiary and joining fellow Taiwanese electronics assemblers Foxconn Technology Group and Wistron Corp., who have already been making some iPhone handsets in southern India.”

Pegatron is the second-largest iPhone contract manufacturer. It relies on Apple for more than half of its revenue. Bloomberg says that Pegatron’s move to India (south India, according to its sources) “can be seen as a defensive move to protect its share of budget iPhone manufacturing.”

Pegatron (and others) embrace India

Apple started producing iPhones in India back in 2017. It began with the iPhone SE, then expanded to the iPhone 6s, and beyond. These were targeted at the local market with a “Made in India” tagline.

The program seems to have been a success because, since then, more and more iPhone models and manufacturers have been looking at the country. A report in May said that Apple is looking to ramp up its investment in India. It could reportedly shift close to a fifth of its current production capacity from China to Indian manufacturers.

Apple has supposedly been asking manufacturers to look beyond China for production. The COVID-19 pandemic showed how China-focused Apple’s supply chain is. By diversifying around the world, Apple would sure up its supply chain. It would also let manufacturers seek better deals from international governments.

With that said, it’s a slow progression. Apple reportedly has 135 major suppliers in China. India has fewer than 10. That means there’s a fair bit of catching up to do.