[News] Foxconn Invests Over USD 1.5 Billion in Expansive Production in India, Creating a New Hub for iPhone Manufacturing

2023-11-28 Consumer Electronics editor

Foxconn has announced plans to invest over USD 1.5 billion in expanding its facilities in India. This substantial investment, a rarity in recent years, has sparked speculation that Foxconn is preparing for the introduction of new iPhone products in India.

Due to reports suggesting that in the second half of 2024, Apple will initiate the design, development, and trial production process for the iPhone 17 in India, if true, this would mark the first time in iPhone history that a New Product Introduction (NPI) is conducted outside of China, solidifying India as a potential global iPhone production hub.

Foxconn’s subsidiary, Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development Private Limited, disclosed the plan to build the factory locally, with an expected investment of INR 128.209 billion (approximately USD 1.537 billion). This move is seen as a strategic effort to enhance iPhone production capacity in India.

According to TrendForce’s estimate, the proportion of iPhones produced in India is still below 10% in 2023, expected to reach 25-30% by 2025, and projected to achieve 35-40% by 2028. TrendForce believes that with the stable production base of Foxconn in India, it can indeed expand the output.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities disclosed that Apple is placing a growing emphasis on the Indian market. The company intends to kick off the NPI process for the standard edition of the iPhone 17, slated for release in the second half of 2025, in India during the latter part of 2024.

Kuo further highlighted that this development signifies the first instance of a new iPhone model being developed outside of China. Choosing the standard version of the iPhone for development lowers the design complexity, reducing risks. This year, 75-80% of iPhones produced in India are manufactured by Foxconn.

According to a previous report by Indian media Economic Times, Foxconn’s factory in Tamil Nadu, India, has been producing the iPhone 15 Plus in the fourth quarter of this year and has already started production of the standard version of the iPhone 15.

Before the iPhone 14, only a small portion of Apple’s phones were assembled in India, with shipments lagging six to nine months behind those in mainland China. However, this year, India has officially entered the supply chain for the initial batch of new iPhones.

Foxconn’s India representative, V Lee, previously stated that the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by next year. However, no further details were provided.

In other product areas, there have been recent reports that three subsidiaries of the Foxconn Group will be among the first approved list of incentives for information technology (IT) production in India. Foxconn Group is also accelerating its layout for manufacturing and components in India.

(Photo credit: Apple)