Apple plans to launch the iPhone 15 on September 12. India will play a crucial part in their production strategy. The company aims to minimize the time gap, between local releases emphasizing India’s importance in their manufacturing process. Apple‘s growth, in India is driven by exports and the PLI scheme.
The iPhone 15 is set to make its global debut on September 12, but India is playing a pivotal role in Apple’s strategy for this release. With India emerging as a significant manufacturing hub for iPhones, Apple is striving to achieve a remarkable feat by launching its latest model locally.
The renowned US smartphone giant is diligently working to introduce the iPhone 15, produced at Foxconn’s Chennai facility, in mid-September. This move aims to significantly reduce the gap between the Indian and global launches, potentially achieving a simultaneous unveiling in India.
In the previous year, Foxconn’s Chennai factory commenced the production of the iPhone 14 within a mere 10 days of the global launch. However, it took approximately a month for the “Made in India” iPhones to reach the market. This year, the delay, if any, is expected to be minimal, as all the necessary preparations for the mass production of the iPhone 15 are already in full swing, according to insiders. Apple anticipates that these newly manufactured Indian devices will initially cater to the local market.
As the festive season approaches, demand for iPhones is likely to surge in India. Post-December, Apple intends to commence iPhone 15 exports, including shipments to Europe and the US.
Notably, trial production of the iPhone 15 commenced in China in June at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility, with components simultaneously arriving at Foxconn’s Indian facilities.
India’s significance in Apple’s global production has grown exponentially, accounting for 7% of the company’s total output, up from less than 1% before the introduction of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones in 2021.
Apple has played a pivotal role in boosting mobile phone exports from India, serving as a standard-bearer for the PLI scheme for smartphones. The company’s three domestic contract manufacturers, namely Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron, and Pegatron, have pledged exports worth Rs 61,000 crore for FY24, marking the third year of the PLI scheme for smartphones.
Currently, it appears that Foxconn will be the sole contract manufacturer initiating iPhone 15 production in India. Meanwhile, Pegatron is expected to handle the production of the iPhone 15 Plus at a later stage.
In the first quarter of FY24, iPhone exports from India exceeded Rs 20,000 crore, which is approximately half of what was achieved in the entire FY23, marking an almost fivefold increase compared to the previous year. The iPhone stands as the largest contributor, constituting 35% of all electronics exports and a staggering 66% of total mobile exports during the first quarter of FY24.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, Apple locally manufactured iPhones worth over $7.5 billion, with approximately $5 billion worth of iPhones being exported to global destinations. This achievement catapulted Apple to become the largest mobile phone exporter from India and boosted India’s mobile phone exports to a remarkable $11.1 billion, reflecting a remarkable 91% increase compared to the previous financial year.
The surge in iPhone exports has led electronics to become the fourth-largest exported category from India in the June quarter of FY24, making it the fastest-growing category among the top 30 exported items. With production on the rise, government officials anticipate that nearly 80% of Apple’s phones will be exported from India in the near future.