Technology giant Apple Inc. has shifted its mass production facility from China to India even as China taunts India that India could ‘work harder’ to catch up with China in manufacturing. As per reports, Apple’s iPhone will be mass produced in India by Foxconn Technology from this year onward.
The Taiwanese company’s group chairman, Terry Gou said that the decision followed Prime Minister Modi’s invite to the company to Make in India. Apple already manufactures older models of the phones in Bengaluru but by this move, Apple will start manufacturing more recent models in India. As per reports, Foxconn is ready to start trial production before it starts full-fledged production in Chennai. Gou had said that in future Foxconn will play an important role in India’s smartphone industry.
This should come as a good news for Congress President Rahul Gandhi who has been obsessed with mobile phone manufacturing units. A few weeks back, there was not a single rally Rahul Gandhi held where he did not talk about setting up a local mobile phone manufacturing unit. All this because the Prime Minister hopeful of the Congress party believes that all mobile phones are manufactured in China only.
Till 2014, there were only 2 mobile phone manufacturing units in India which in 2018 had grown up to 120 factories and has created jobs for over 4 lakh people. As per a report by the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), India is now the second largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world. According to data provided by ICA, 11 million units of phones were made in India in the year 2017.
India is also the world’s second-largest smartphone market, which no phone maker can ignore. As India is an extremely price conscious market, companies are preferring to make their phones for the Indian market in India only, as they can save on import duty and international shipping costs, which help in keeping prices low.
Although so many phones are made in India now, most of them are actually assembled here using parts imported from abroad. But that would change, as India establishes itself as a major manufacturing hub for phones, companies will also start moving component making to India. In fact, that process has already started, Samsung and Xiaomi have around 60 per cent share in the smartphone market, and both companies have started PCB manufacturing in the country. With Apple entering India’s manufacturing scene with more investment, this figure is only bound to increase.
And while India manufactures lots of mobile phones now, contrary to what Rahul Gandhi believes, we still can’t answer some of his other questions about phones. Like, why the Indian government does not buy mobile phones from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), or when Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will start making phones.