Pegatron begins assembling Apple iPhone 14 handsets in India, following Chinese lockdown of world’s largest iPhone factory
Apple has reportedly ordered one of its contract manufacturers to begin assembly of its iPhone 14 handset in India.
According to Bloomberg, Taiwanese contract manufacturer Pegatron Corp has begun assembling the company’s latest iPhone 14 model in India.
Also in September Apple admitted that Foxxconn (i.e. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd) had begun assembling some iPhone 14 handsets in India.
JP Morgan analysts have previously predicted that Apple will move 5 percent of global iPhone 14 production to India by late 2022 and expand its manufacturing capacity in the country to produce 25 percent (one in four) of all iPhones by 2025.
Now Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, has reported that Pegatron has also begun assembling iPhone handsets in India.
Pegatron it should be remembered was the firm that had suspended iPhone assembly at its Shanghai and Kunshan plants in China in April this year, due to the Chinese government’s strict Covid-19 protocols.
All of Apple’s biggest Taiwanese suppliers, Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron, are reportedly ramping up iPhone assembly in India, boosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s financial incentives program, Bloomberg said.
India and other countries such as Mexico and Vietnam are increasingly turning important to contract manufacturers supplying to American brands amid Covid-related lockdowns in China and simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Indeed, in August it was reported that Apple had begun talks with two of its suppliers (Luxshare Precision Industry and Foxconn) about manufacturing the Apple Watch and Macbook in Vietnam.
China is still where the vast bulk of iPhone handsets are made.
But Apple had already begun to move some of its iPhone manufacturing to other countries, most notable India, where it started manufacturing the iPhone 13 earlier this year.
It is also reportedly considering assembling iPad tablets there.
This signal that Apple is seeking to slowly reduce its reliance on China, where it has been producing the vast majority of its devices for over a decade, will worry Chinese authorities.
But manufacturers are exploring alternative production sources away from China, amid Beijing’s ongoing geopolitical tensions with Western nations, coupled with its strict pandemic restrictions that have disrupted supply chains for many industries.
On Wednesday China ordered a seven day lockdown of the area around Foxconn’s main iPhone plant in Zhengzhou, known as “iPhone city.”
In response to Covid outbreaks, the lockdown began on Wednesday (and will last until 9 November).
It will severely curtail shipments in and out of the world’s largest iPhone factory.
Silicon UK had reported earlier this week that the Taiwanese company was racing to control a Covid outbreak at the Zhengzhou facility.
Chinese authorities have ordered people and vehicles off the streets except for medical or other essential reasons.
This restriction threatens to cut off the flow of additional workers and components needed to ramp up iPhone production ahead of the holiday-season rush.