India-made iPhone 12 in trial phase, even as Apple shifts 7-10% of capacity from China

Even though Apple's manufacturing plans in India for various iPhones and iPads had hits some unexpected roadblock in the form of trouble at Wistron and visa issues for Chinese engineers (from Taiwan), its assembler Foxconn (Hon Hoi Precision Industry) has reportedly reached the trial phase in the production of iPhone 12 at its facility near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Further, as part of its larger shifting of operations from China, Apple is said to move 7 to 10% production capacity to India.

According to a news report in Business Standard, that quoted sources in Foxconn, iPhone 12 will be manufactured at its facility in Tamil Nadu both for the domestic as well as well as the export market. 

The unit also manufactures iPhone 11, which is the bestseller in India, as well as iPhone XR. iPhone 12 mini will also be manufactured locally.

Foxconn has committed $337 million in Chennai plant

Sources say that once the trial phase is over, the India-made iPhone 12 will hit the market in a month.

It may be recalled that Apple's another contract manufacturer Wistron's India plant originally planned to produce iPhone 12 mini in 2021, but those plans are now on hold.

The iPhone 12 series are the first models provided by Apple to support 5G connectivity and Foxconn had hitherto been manufacturing  them from its Zhengzhou and Shenzhen complexes in China.

Apple is now cutting on its dependence on China and moving its manufacturing bases to India and Vietnam, among others.

Foxconn has approved investment of around $337 million over a six-year period for the Apple project in India, and its facility is spread over 30.83 acres of land.

It may be recalled that last year the Taiwan-headquartered Foxconn had said that “China’s days as the world's factory are done” and India would form a part of its “manufacturing ecosystem”.

While Apple's contract manufacturers are making the most out of India's lucrative PLI scheme, the visa process are said to be a downer for the Taiwanese companies (Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron).

India has been slow to issue visas to Chinese engineers, who are needed to help Taiwanese companies set up factories in India.

India is also nudging companies to opt for employment permits, which are more difficult to obtain.

Pegatron, another manufacturer, is setting up its Apple assembling plant near Chennai.

Indian behemoth, the Tata Group is investing in a big way for its massive electronic ecosystem which is expected to manufacture platforms for smartphones, including those of Apple.

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