Apple’s manufacturing shift from China to India isn’t going as smoothly as it hoped. At an iPhone casings factory near Bengaluru run by Indian conglomerate Tata Group, only about half of the components coming off the production line are in good enough shape to be sent for assembly, the Financial Times reported Feb. 13.
The iPhone maker’s shares fell about 1.5 percent in today’s (Feb. 14) pre-market trading.
Apple has a zero-defect goal for its iPhone casings manufacturers and its previous Chinese suppliers were able to get extremely close to that target, according to the FT.
The U.S. tech giant began moving some of its iPhone production to India in mid-2022 after frequent Covid lockdowns stalled manufacturing at its suppliers’ factories in China. Before the shift, Apple assembled more than 95 percent of iPhones in mainland China. It now aims to produce 25 percent of iPhones in India by 2025 and increase that share to 50 percent by 2028.
However, it could take three years or longer for Apple’s Indian suppliers to catch up with Apple’s manufacturing standards, Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian-American entrepreneur and an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told the FT.
Apple has been making older iPhone models in India since 2017. It began assembling the new iPhone 14 lineup in the country last year.