For the first time, Apple is asking suppliers to shift production of some AirPods and Beats headphones to India. Aside from older iPhones and iPhone 14 for local sale, AirPods and Beats headphones will also soon be made in India.
Apple Asks Suppliers to Shift AirPods Production to India
Nikkei Asia reported that Apple asked its suppliers to shift headphone production to India for the first time. The report cited three unspecified sources who told Nikkei Asia that Apple intends to increase Indian production starting in 2023. The report said Foxconn heeded Apple and has started preparing to produce Beats headphones in the country. It also hopes to do the same with AirPods later on.
Aside from Foxconn, the report noted that another supplier, Luxshare, may follow suit in shifting AirPods production to India. However, the company has already been manufacturing AirPods in Vietnam and China. Therefore, it may be some time before it can begin manufacturing AirPods in India.
India’s Road to Becoming a Significant Export Base for Apple Products
Interestingly, Indian production for Apple was previously for products intended to be sold locally. However, by shifting AirPods production, India is starting to become an export base for Apple products, as well.
Apple has been taking baby steps toward reducing its reliance on China production. Last week, Bloomberg estimated that it will take Apple eight years to reduce its independence from China by 20% to 40%. For the iPhone alone, China accounts for 98% of Apple’s total production. Aside from avoiding over-reliance on one country, particularly China, Apple is also trying to diversify to avoid future problems.
Whatever the rationale, there’s no harm in trying to gradually move away from China and relocating Apple’s production to other countries. India could end up becoming Apple’s next big production partner, if major suppliers such as Foxconn can quickly establish production lines in the country.