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The newest iPhone factory will not be in China

Thanks to the ever-increasing demand for its smartphones, Apple seems to be constantly on the lookout for new facilities to manufacture the iPhone. So far, most of this demand has been met by massive production facilities in China, where contract manufacturers like Foxconn and Pegatron churn out thousands of iPhones each day.

However, as the relationship between China and the U.S. has deteriorated over the years, Apple seems to be increasingly worried about putting most of its (manufacturing) eggs in the same basket. And it seems Apple and its manufacturing partners are increasingly looking at another country — India — as a potential iPhone manufacturing hub.

There have been several recent developments that seem to indicate Apple’s increasing affinity towards India. In the most recent, one of Apple’s largest manufacturing contractors, Pegatron, is all set to begin manufacturing iPhones at their new plant — their first ever — in India, the Economic Times reports.

Pegatron’s new iPhone manufacturing facility will be the third such facility to have come up in India in the past five years, with India already home to two other manufacturing facilities owned by Wistron and Foxconn. This makes India the only country other than China to assemble iPhones.

What’s different with Pegatron’s new iPhone factory in India?

According to the report, Pegatron’s new iPhone factory will be up and running before the end of April. The facility is initially expected to begin assembling iPhone 12 series devices — and will follow that up with the iPhone 13 lineup in the months to follow. In addition, Pegatron has plans to hire more than 6,000 people to work at the facility over the next year — but that isn’t even the interesting part.

What makes Pegatron’s iPhone manufacturing plant different from the already existing plants in India is the fact that a large percentage of iPhones assembled in the plant will be earmarked for export. This is a significant shift in Apple’s policy, because until now, most of the made-in-India iPhones — almost 70 percent of them — were sold within India. While some percentage of the iPhones made at this plant will continue to end up in the hands of Indian consumers, there is a good chance that made-in-India iPhones could make it to the U.S. and Europe in the near future.

Apple’s interest in the Indian smartphone space is likely to continue, given that the company has been growing exponentially in the country. Apple 2021 shipments saw a massive growth of 108 percent in India, and the company has become one of the country’s fastest-growing smartphone brands. Apple is also thought to have sold more than 5 million iPhones in the country just last year — a remarkable achievement in a price-conscious market. Current expectations are that Apple will have an even better 2022 in India.

With such bullish prospects, Apple is expected to double down on its investments in India, with the likelihood of even more production facilities coming up in the country over the next few years.

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Rahul Srinivas
Rahul is a smartphone buff turned tech journalist who has been tinkering with all things mobile since the early 2000s. He has…
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