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Apple Aims for About 25% of Production in India, Minister Says

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is looking to boost production in India to about a quarter of its global total, one of the country’s top government officials said, as the US tech giant seeks to diversify from its main manufacturing hub in China.

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“They are already at about 5-7% of their manufacturing in India,” said Piyush Goyal, India’s trade and industry minister, at a public event Monday. “If I am not mistaken, they are targeting to go up to 25% of their manufacturing.”

Goyal’s comments are somewhat more aggressive than what Apple’s contract manufacturers have told New Delhi previously. Apple’s three key Taiwanese suppliers — Foxconn Technology Group, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp. — applied for and won financial incentives to ramp up Indian smartphone production and exports.

As part of the plan, the companies committed that as much as 20% of iPhone volume will take place in India by end-March 2026, Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After years of success with manufacturing in China, Apple has begun to diversify amid rising tensions between the US and China, as well as Communist Party policies that hampered production. Last year, lockdowns at Foxconn’s main iPhone plant in Zhengzhou led to worker revolts and forced it to trim output estimates.

Production Jumps

As the Cupertino, California-based company introduced its latest iPhone last year, it substantially shortened the time between the first China-made model and the first India-made version. It is also making more of the iPhone 14s in India than for any previous version.

“They launched the most recent models from India, manufactured in India,” Goyal said.

The minister’s comments seem to echo a JPMorgan Chase & Co. report cited by local media last year that said Apple will make 25% of all iPhones in India by 2025. In addition to not giving a timeline, Goyal didn’t specify whether the higher target would include the assembly of other products in India, such as iPads and MacBook laptops.

Goyal’s ministry and India’s tech and finance ministries have played a key role in shaping a $6.7 billion production-linked incentive scheme that promises cash to companies that boost local smartphone production. That plan has helped Apple export more than $2.5 billion of iPhones from India from April to December, nearly twice the previous fiscal year’s total.

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