Apple iPhone 14 to Show India Closing Tech Gap With China | Mobile News

Apple iPhone 14 to Show India Closing Tech Gap With China

Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India about two months after the product’s initial release out of China.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Aug 23 2022, 15:49 IST
iPhone 14 Series rumoured look revealed
iPhone 14
1/6 The upcoming iPhone 14 series is expected to have a new notch design. According to Jon Pressor of FrontPagetech, the new notch is expected to be in the form of a new hole and pill-shaped cutout, housing the front camera as well as the FaceID sensors. (FrontPageTech)
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2/6 The iPhone 14 series is reported to have 4 variants in its lineup- the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max. The non-Pro models are expected to have a similar but smaller notch than the iPhone 13 series while the Pro series are said to have the new notch design. (FrontPageTech)
iPhone 14
3/6 Moreover, the iPhone 14 series is expected to have the same flat-edged design introduced with the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 14 is expected to have thin-flat edges, larger camera bump, new notch design and more. (Front Page Tech)
iPhone 14
4/6 According to Prosser's FrontPageTech video, the iPhone 14 will look like an iPhone 12 crossed with an iPhone 4 in that it'll stick with flat edges. However, notably, those edges could include a mute button and a group of rounded buttons for volume central, harking back to the iPhone 4. (Front Page Tech)
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5/6 The iPhone 14 series is still expected to have glass on the back, like the couple of previous generations of iPhones dating back to the iPhone 8. However, this new notch design is sure to excite consumers. It will be the first time since the launch of iPhone X back in 2018, that Apple has carried out a major revamp of their iPhones, instead of sticking to their tried and tested design. (FrontPageTech)
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6/6 However, since there is no official confirmation from Apple, all this information must be taken with a grain of salt as they are still unconfirmed reports. So, until the iPhone 14 series officially launches in September or October, we just might have to wait. (FrontPageTech)
iPhone 14
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Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India.  (Graphic Designer AR7)

Apple Inc. plans to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India about two months after the product's initial release out of China, narrowing the gap between the two countries but not closing it completely as some had anticipated.

The company has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and shorten the lag in production of the iPhone 14 from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple, which long made most of its iPhones in China, is seeking alternatives as Xi Jinping's administration clashes with the US government and imposes lockdowns across the country that have disrupted economic activity.

Analysts such as Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities Group have said they anticipate Apple will ship the next iPhone from both countries at roughly the same time, which would have been a significant benchmark in Apple's efforts to diversify its supply chain and build redundancy.

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Foxconn Technology Group, the primary manufacturer of iPhones, studied the process of shipping components from China and assembling the iPhone 14 device at its plant outside the southern Indian city of Chennai, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the efforts are confidential. That included looking at ways to maintain Apple's high standards for confidentiality.

Apple and Foxconn ultimately determined a simultaneous start in India and China isn't realistic this year, although it remains a long-term goal, said the people. The first iPhone 14s from India are likely to be finished in late October or November, following the initial September release, they said. An ambitious target would be the Diwali festival that begins Oct. 24, one person said.

A spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment. Foxconn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Redington India Ltd., which distributes Apple products in the country, rose as much as 9.5% after Bloomberg's initial report.

Matching China's pace of iPhone production would have marked a major milestone for India, which has been touting its attractiveness as an alternative at a time when rolling Covid lockdowns and US sanctions jeopardize China's position as factory to the world. Assembling iPhones often entails coordination between hundreds of suppliers and meeting Apple's infamously tight deadlines and quality controls.

Some people within Apple and Foxconn had hoped to begin simultaneous production in India this year, but that was never an official plan. To ensure a smooth launch, Apple wanted to focus on getting the China operations up to speed first and then work out the India production, one of the people said.

Apple's partners began making iPhones in India in 2017, the start of a years long effort to build manufacturing capabilities in the country. Besides offering backup to its existing operations, the country of 1.4 billion people is a promising consumer market and the Modi administration has offered financial incentives for tech production under its Make in India program.

One challenge in narrowing the cap of India production is secrecy. Apple goes to extreme lengths to keep new product details confidential, and imposing the same rigorous controls in a second country would prove difficult.

Local executives in India examined entirely cornering off a section of one of Foxconn's multiple assembly lines, sequestering workers and scrutinizing all possible ways in which the security around the device could be compromised, according to two of the people. Thus far, the drastic security controls and stringent seclusion of its China facilities would be challenging to replicate, one of the people said.

Apple has also been concerned about Indian customs officials, who typically open up packages to check whether imported materials match their declarations, another potential vulnerability for product secrecy.

Even if Apple and Foxconn intended a simultaneous launch, supply-chain challenges would have stymied the goal. China, the source of many iPhone components, has gone through successive waves of lockdowns, complicating the process of shipping components through the country.

India's workforce and factories haven't easily adopted the highly controlled practices that Apple requires from suppliers. Since Apple began assembling iPhones in India through contract manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron Corp. five years ago, workers have revolted over salaries and the quality of food in two prominent incidents.

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First Published Date: 23 Aug, 15:48 IST
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