Apple Inc plans to start making the iPhone 14 in India about two months after its release out of China, in a move that will narrow the gap from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
The company has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and the first iPhone 14s from the country are likely to be finished in late October or November, following the initial September release, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Apple’s Taiwan-based supplier Foxconn has studied the process of shipping items from China and assembling the iPhone 14 at its plant outside southern Indian city of Chennai, it reported.
The U.S. tech giant is looking at options after Beijing’s clashes with Washington and lockdowns across the country disrupted production, according to the report.
Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Apple has been shifting some areas of iPhone production from China to other markets including India, the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, and is also planning to assemble iPad tablets there.
India and other countries such as Mexico and Vietnam are becoming increasingly important to contract manufacturers supplying American brands as they try to diversify production away from China.
Earlier, the U.S. was considering limiting shipments of American chipmaking equipment to memory chip makers in China in a bid to halt China’s semiconductor sector advances and protect U.S. companies.
If President Joe Biden’s administration proceeds with the move, it could also hurt South Korean memory chip juggernauts Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc, which have big factories in the country.
Last week, Nikkei reported that Apple suppliers are in talks to produce Apple Watch and MacBook in Vietnam for the first time.
(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Anil D’Silva)