Foxconn plans to invest up to $1bn to expand an iPhone assembly plant in southern India, two sources said. The move is part of Apple’s gradual move to move production out of China as it grapples with international tensions and disruptions caused by the new virus crisis. “Apple is urging its customers to move some of their iPhone production out of China, ” said a source familiar with the matter. “
Foxconn said it would not comment on customer-related issues, and Apple had not yet responded to requests for comment.
Another source said Foxconn plans to invest in India’s Sriperumbur plant, which is located in Tamil Nadu, about 50km west of Chennai, and is responsible for making the iPhone XR.
Some of Foxconn’s current iPhone models in China will also be transferred to the Sriperumbur plant, the two anonymous sources said. Foxconn plans to add about 6,000 jobs at the plant, one of the sources said. Foxconn also operates another factory in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which makes smartphones for companies such as Xiaomi.
Liu Yangwei, Foxconn’s chairman, said last month that the company would invest more in India, but gave no details.
In India’s smartphone market, iPhone sales account for about 1% of total sales. India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market, and the higher-priced iPhones are often seen as a symbol of status in the country. The iPhone’s price in India has been pushed higher by import duties, and higher production in India would help the company save on import taxes.
In addition to Foxconn, the company is assembling a variety of iPhones for Apple at its factory in Bangalore, a technology hub in southern India. Media have previously reported that Weizheng will also open a new factory to produce more Apple equipment.
Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint, a Hong Kong-based technology research firm, said: “India has lower labour costs than China, and Apple’s supplier base in India is growing and will be used as an export hub in the future.” “
At the same time, India is also trying to boost the electronics manufacturing business of companies such as Foxconn, launching a $6.65 billion program last month to provide five global smartphone makers with incentives to build or expand production in India. Apple’s expansion of its Indian operations is likely to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Made in India flagship project, which aims to create new jobs.
Samsung has previously said it will produce smartphones for export at a factory outside New Delhi. (Tang Feng)