oApple is making a significant shift in its supply chain strategy, with reports emerging that the tech giant has informed its component suppliers about its preference to source batteries for the upcoming iPhone 16 from Indian factories. This strategic move aligns with Apple’s broader initiative to diversify its supply chain and reduce dependence on manufacturing in China.
Diversifying the Supply Chain
The Financial Times reported on December 6 that Apple has communicated to its component suppliers, urging them to consider Indian factories for the production of batteries for the iPhone 16. This strategic decision is in line with Apple’s ongoing efforts to diversify its supply chain and reduce reliance on a single manufacturing hub. The move is seen as a response to the heightened trade tensions between the United States and China, prompting major tech companies to explore alternative manufacturing locations.
Encouraging Battery Manufacturers in India
To implement this shift, battery manufacturers, including Desay from China, have reportedly been encouraged to establish new factories in India. Simplo Technology, a Taiwanese battery supplier for Apple, has also received encouragement to expand its production capacity in India. While these moves are yet to be independently verified, they signal Apple’s commitment to leveraging India’s manufacturing capabilities.
TDK Corp’s Role in iPhone Battery Production
Adding to this development, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar announced on December 4 that Japanese electronic parts maker TDK Corp would manufacture lithium-ion battery cells for Apple iPhones in India. This move is attributed to the success of India’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, aimed at bolstering local manufacturing. TDK Corp is set to establish a 180-acre facility in Manesar, Haryana, signaling a substantial step in localizing key components for Apple’s devices.
A Win for PLI Scheme and ‘Make in India’
Minister Chandrasekhar highlighted this development as a significant win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s PLI scheme, emphasizing the shift of the mobile manufacturing ecosystem to India. TDK’s involvement in producing battery cells for Apple iPhones further reinforces the success of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, as the country becomes an integral part of Apple’s global supply chain.
Apple’s Drive to Reduce Dependency on China
Apple’s active pursuit of alternatives to Chinese manufacturing is not new. The company has been working diligently to cut its dependence on China for both manufacturing and supply chains. The evolving geopolitical landscape and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China have fueled Apple’s determination to explore and invest in production locations outside of China.
Local Component Manufacturing in India
In August, Moneycontrol reported that Apple was actively exploring strategies to enhance local component manufacturing in India. During a meeting with senior officials from the finance ministry, Apple outlined plans to significantly boost its production capacity in India, aiming for more than a fivefold increase, with an approximate value of $40 billion over the next 4-5 years.
The Road Ahead for Apple in India
Apple’s decision to manufacture iPhone 16 batteries in India underscores the company’s commitment to the Indian market. As the tech giant expands its production capacity in the country, it not only strengthens its local footprint but also contributes to the Indian government’s vision of making the nation a global manufacturing hub. The move is expected to create job opportunities, foster technological development, and enhance India’s position in the global tech supply chain.
Balancing Global Supply Chains
As Apple diversifies its supply chain by involving multiple regions, it seeks to strike a balance between mitigating risks associated with overreliance on a single manufacturing location and meeting the demand for its products globally. The strategic inclusion of India in its production network aligns with Apple’s long-term vision of creating a resilient and agile supply chain.
In conclusion, Apple’s decision to source iPhone 16 batteries from Indian factories is a significant milestone in the company’s global manufacturing evolution. The move reflects the success of India’s PLI scheme, the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, and Apple’s strategic efforts to reduce dependence on China. As the tech giant continues to invest in and collaborate with Indian manufacturing partners, the impact on the country’s tech ecosystem and Apple’s global supply chain will undoubtedly be substantial.