Apple will begin iPhone 17 assembly in India due to its ‘lower difficulty’ design: report

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple iPhone 17 assembly in India to begin in the second half of 2025.
  • This is said to be because of the lower-difficulty design of the iPhone 17.
  • We believe this could be due to growing tensions between Apple and China and improving prospects with India.

Apple is gradually shifting its focus from China and showing increased interest in India. After reports of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 plus assembly in India, a new report suggests the iPhone 17 will also be manufactured here. But unlike the other iPhones which were majority made in China and only a portion was allocated to factories in our country, Apple will commence the iPhone 17 assembly in India, starting H2, 2025.

iPhone 17 assembly in India: Why and why now?

As per Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will kick off the assembly of the standard iPhone 17 in India starting the second half of 2025.

  • He says this will be because of the “lower difficulty” designof vanilla iPhone 17 which could mean a lower probability of errors and risks in manufacturing it.
  • Of late, Apple’s relationship with China has been withering. As per analyst Jeffries, iPhone sales have been decliningby double-digit percentage and Huawei could take over Apple in 2024. Amid the US-China tech tussle, there have been rumours that Chinese government officials were asked not to use iPhones at work. Although China denied this it mumbled concerns about security flaws on iPhones.
  • On the other hand, both the Indian government and its customer base have been welcoming of Apple. India is the second-largest smartphone market and demandfor iPhones and other aspirational products from Apple has been increasing in India.
  • Although Apple has been making iPhones in India since 2017, this would be the first time it is prioritizing India over China. This is thanks to the new governance and ease of doing initiatives like Make in India and Production-Linked Incentives or PLIin the country.

iPhone manufacturing in India has ranged from making just the components like PCBs and older iPhone models at one point to eventually graduating to flagship iPhones Also, from a time when foreign Apple suppliers were investing more in our market, now we are at a place where our own Tata Group has begun manufacturing iPhones at its plant in Karnataka. It bought this unit recently from Apple supplier Wistron.

At present, Mr Kuo believes around 12 to 14 percent of iPhones are made in India which could leap to 20-25 percent next year

 

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