- Apple is not willing to produce iPhone 11 in India.
- It had some plans for the same initially though.
- India does not have enough resources, according to Apple.
Apple is not counting on India to produce its top-end luxurious iPhone models. Blame it on the lack of robust infrastructure and skilled labour in India that Apple believes are the main reasons behind the reluctance. In a report by The Wall Street Journal, analysing the current situation of the production halt in China amid the Coronavirus outbreak, India was deemed unsuitable by Apple for the production of iPhone 11 series units, despite the company's push into the country over the past few years.
"Apple is unlikely to shift any of the production of its most expensive iPhones to India later this year," a Foxconn executive was quoted as saying in the WSJ report. Foxconn is the major third-party manufacturer of iPhone that has a mass-scale production taking place in China. Although Foxconn has its manufacturing facilities in India as well, it is only partly responsible for producing iPhone units, especially the iPhone XR. A major fraction of the iPhone production which comprises that of iPhone 6 series, iPhone 7 series takes place at the Wistron facility in India.
Over the past few years, smartphone production has been scaled up in India by many OEMs to circumvent import duty and lower the costs of their products to penetrate more aggressively into the market. But that has only been limited to assembly of phones and manufacturing less delicate and less complex equipment. The iPhone production requires components that are developed exclusively by suppliers. The population in China has allowed suppliers to build factories with a capacity for more than 250,000 people.
Although there were plans for iPhone 11 production in India that Apple initially mulled. Despite the push, Apple executives were not convinced enough to shift the production from China to countries like India and Vietnam.
"India is the closest comparison, but its roads, ports and infrastructure lag far behind those in China. The supply chain isn't in place, and workers in India aren't ready to produce the high-end, organic light-emitting diode models," the Foxconn executive told WSJ on why India is not relevant to produce iPhone 11.
Moreover, Apple was apprehensive that moving the production outside China will hamper the already plummeting sales in the region, which accounts for about a fifth of the total revenue. The report also mentions that the decision to continue production in China is unlikely to change this year, owing to the lack of the necessary infrastructure in India as required by Apple.