According to recent estimates, almost all (95%) of all iPhones are made in China. Apple’s problem with centralization is worse than that – 80% of all iPhones at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, China. And now the that factory is partially closing down because of China’s “zero COVID” policy.
This will affect the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max the most – in an unprecedented move Apple officially warned that hitting production targets will be difficult in the next few months as the factory operates at a reduced capacity. Normally these are the kinds of facts that Cupertino keeps to itself.
Apple’s partner Foxconn plans to quadruple the workforce in its factories in India, according to sources from the local government that spoke to Reuters. This will grow the number of workers from the current 17,000 to 70,000.
Here is what the sources told Reuters:
Apple supplier Foxconn plans to quadruple the workforce at its iPhone factory in India over two years, two government officials with knowledge of the matter said, pointing to a production adjustment as it faces disruptions in China […]
This massive expansion will take time (two years per the report) and so it will not solve the current crisis. But the latest developments can accelerate Apple’s plans to reduce its dependence on China to prevent this situation from arising again.
Analysts from JP Morgan reported that as much as 25% of iPhone production can move to India by 2025. Cupertino already manufactures iPhone 14 phones in India, starting just a few weeks after production in China began. The plan for next year is (allegedly) for production of the iPhone 15 to begin simultaneously with that in China.
So, the vanilla series already has some diversification. You can see in the chart above that production is split between three companies. However, the Pro models are only made by Foxconn and that happens exclusively at Zhengzhou (with around 200,000 workers making iPhones, the place has earned itself the nickname “iPhone City”).