Apple plans to expand its manufacturing operations in India with a new plant in the state of Karnataka, according to local officials. The move comes as the US tech giant seeks to diversify its production away from China, where strict Covid policies and diplomatic tensions with the US have disrupted operations.
Karnataka state Chief Minister Basavaraj S. Bommai tweeted on Friday that Apple will soon build its flagship mobile phones in the state, creating around 100,000 jobs and generating new opportunities for the region. The proposed factory will be spread over 300 acres in the state, which is home to India's tech hub Bengaluru.
The announcement coincided with Foxconn chairman Young Liu's visit to the city, where he reportedly signed an agreement to set up electronics manufacturing facilities in the neighboring southern state of Telangana that would employ 100,000 people. Two other Taiwanese suppliers, Wistron and Pegatron, already manufacture and assemble Apple devices in India, while Foxconn has been manufacturing Apple handsets in India since 2019 at its plant in Tamil Nadu.
Apple said last September that it would manufacture its latest iPhone 14 in India, just weeks after launching the flagship model. However, the country accounts for less than 5% of Apple's global production, according to Bloomberg, lagging behind the US, China, Japan, and five other countries.
Apple's expanding manufacturing operations in India will be a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" strategy, which seeks to promote the country as a manufacturing hub and attract foreign investment. The move also reflects Apple's efforts to reduce its reliance on China, which accounts for a significant portion of its supply chain and where tensions with the US have led to concerns about geopolitical risks.
The expansion of Apple's operations in India is expected to provide a significant boost to the country's economy, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. It will also create new opportunities for local suppliers and businesses and strengthen India's position as a major player in the global tech industry.