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    iPhone manufacturing India

    Heads – It’s Usable; Tails – It’s Not: The Story of India Made iPhone Assemblies

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    As you might be aware, Apple has shifted some of its iPhone manufacturing to India. And how’s it going, you ask? Well, not great. But before I step into the details, let’s look at the backstory for some context.

    Most of the assembly of Apple’s favourite child (the iPhone, for those who are new here) happens in China. But, supply chain tie-up snags, riots at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, and China’s extreme covid-19 restrictions have made Apple’s operations more & more challenging by the day. So, Timmy started to look into shifting out of China and moving into India. But it was more challenging than it sounds!

    Even though India seems a more amenable option than China, it has thrown up a new set of challenges. According to some reports, out of every iPhone case that came out of the Tata-run Hosur factory, only 50% were in good enough shape to be sent to Foxconn (Apple’s assembly partner). Basically, out of every ten iPhone cases, five are just glorified paperweights.

    Apple did point towards logistics, tariffs & infrastructure as the main culprit, but also said that the Indian supply chain didn’t have the gumption, the lively spirit that China’s factories showed and that we didn’t have a sense of urgency in our supply chains (then why are you here, Tim?). To be fair, the Chinese factories did have a rejection rate of 0% (yup, you read it right!). To be diplomatic, just in case, Apple also mentioned our philosophy of ‘jugaad’ and suggested the company should adapt to the scenarios and learn ‘the art of jugaad’. Well, it’s never too late, right?

    But what do they do with the rejected ones? Do they throw them out? Frame them and place them in their HQ? We may never know. Unless someone asks Apple. Not me!

    Even though there is a 50-50 chance of getting a working part, Apple does seem optimistic about its course in India. What do you think? Will Tim be successful in adapting Apple to India’s climate? Tell us in the comments!

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