iPhone 17 may be developed in India from 2H 2024, says analyst

iPhone contract manufacturers in India are expected to begin development of the iPhone 17 in the second half of 2024, marking the first time the New Product Introduction (NPI) will start outside of China, according to Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo.

Apple’s contract manufacturers — Foxconn (Hon Hai), Pegatron, and now the Tata Group, which acquired the Wistron production lines for $135 million – are expected to start the introductory process as early as 2024, marking a significant milestone in Apple’s efforts in diversifying its supply chain.

The Cupertino-based company is also expected to scale down its operations with Foxconn in Zhenghzhou and Taiyuan in China by 35-45% and 75-85% respectively, by 2024, the Taiwan-based securities analyst said.

“In addition to expanding production in India, Luxshare’s rapid increase in iPhone order allocation and improvements in production line automation are also the main reasons for the production scale reduction,” Kuo said in a research note.

He added that the standard iPhone model is chosen for its low-difficulty in design development to reduce design risk.

“If all goes well, the proportion of iPhones made in India will increase to 20–25% by 2024,” Kuo said.In 2023, 12-14% of the global iPhone shipments are made in India, with Foxconn owning 75-80% of the production capacity in India, the analyst said in a research note.Apple has been ramping up its production capacity in India. The company added Tata Electronics as an assembler, which took over Wistron’s production lines from October 27, integrating the first Indian company into Apple’s supply chain.

“By making India’s Tata an iPhone assembler (already acquired Wistron’s iPhone production lines in India), Apple can strengthen its relationship with the Indian government. This move will benefit future sales of iPhones and other products in India and is critical to Apple’s growth over the next decade,” Kuo said.


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