Apple wants to make more iPhones and MacBooks outside China | Cult of Mac

Apple wants to make more iPhones and MacBooks outside China

By

A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Apple wants to expand its product manufacturing outside China
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly looking to expand the production of its devices outside China due to its strict anti-Covid policy.

The Chinese government’s uncompromising zero-covid policy has affected the manufacturing of Apple devices, with shipping times slipping to July for some products.

Apple wants to reduce its reliance on China for product manufacturing

Apple suppliers already have small production facilities in India and Vietnam, but 90% of the company’s products are made in China. A Wall Street Journal report suggests the Cupertino company wants to change that and is looking at the two Asian countries as an alternative production hub.

However, the recent political tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies have made it difficult for many China-based suppliers to quickly expand their presence in India. Due to this, they are looking to expand in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations. The former is already a production hub for Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker.

Apple was seemingly already looking to expand the production of its devices outside of China before the pandemic. Those plans were temporarily put on the backburner due to the virus. With the world going back to normal, the iPhone maker is again pushing its suppliers and contractors to build new manufacturing facilities outside China.

The move has been further fueled by the geopolitical tensions between the US and China and the zero-Covid policy of the Chinese government that has hindered Apple’s production plans.

India could become Apple’s next manufacturing hub

The Cupertino giant has long relied on China as its manufacturing hub due to cheap labor costs, easy availability of skilled workers, and an expansive network of suppliers. Reportedly, Apple sees India as its next potential manufacturing hub since it comes closest to filling the above requirements.

Foxconn, Apple’s biggest contractor, and Wistron already have manufacturing facilities in India. However, they are primarily meant to meet local demand, with only a small percentage of the assembled devices being exported.

Apple’s partner Foxconn recently started assembling the iPhone 13 in India, which shows how important it considers the country to be for its manufacturing plans. Research firm Counterpoint says India assembled 3.1% of the world’s iPhones last year, and that number is expected to increase to 6-7% this year.