AirPods could be the next Apple product to be 'Made in India.' Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Apple is asking its suppliers to move production of AirPods and Beats from China to India. This is the first time the company is looking to manufacture its wireless earbuds in the South Asian country.
The Cupertino giant has been heavily diversifying its supply chain recently and reducing its reliance on China. The company had already moved a portion of AirPods production from China to Vietnam in 2019.
Foxconn could start making Beats products in India from early 2023
Nikkei Asia reports that Apple is talking to several suppliers to boost the production of its devices in India from early next year. Foxconn is already preparing to manufacture Beats products in the country, with hopes to produce the AirPods eventually.
Luxshare is also looking to expand its manufacturing facilities in India. The company already makes the AirPods for Apple in China and Vietnam. For the time being, it will continue to focus on its Vietnamese operations, so it could be slower than Foxconn in making the AirPods in India.
Apple reportedly shifted the majority of Beats production to Vietnam in 2021. Foxconn and Luxshare recently started test production of the Apple Watch in the Southeast Asian country, the first time outside China.
Apple’s manufacturing ambitions in India keep growing
Apple’s manufacturing operations in India have grown following the U.S.-China trade war and the zero-COVID policy in China. The Cupertino giant started manufacturing operations in India in 2017 to meet local demand for older iPhone models. But over the years, the company has expanded its manufacturing operations in the country. This was the first year Apple started making the latest iPhone within weeks of its global launch in India, showing the country’s importance in its supply chain.
As Apple further diversifies its supply chain, it is looking at India as another important production base alongside Vietnam. This will help reduce the country’s reliance on China as its manufacturing hub. Apart from meeting local demand, Apple intends to start exporting its products to Europe manufactured at its Indian facilities.