Commerce and Industry Ministry Piyush Goyal confirmed on July 24 that Apple has started “manufacturing” its flagship iPhone 11 at the Foxconn plant near Chennai. Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract electronics maker, currently has two plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where it assembles Apple and Xiaomi smartphones.
The Taiwanese company started the assembly line for the iPhone XR in the country in late 2019. Calling it a significant boost to the Indian government’s “Make in India” programme, Goyal said that the making of the iPhone 11 in India will bring a top-of-the-line model for the first time in the country.
Earlier this month, reports suggested that Foxconn has planned to invest $1 billion in India amid rising anti-China sentiments due to its expansionist behaviour and handling of coronavirus. Some of the industries and conglomerates across the world have been contemplating on gradually moving out from China to reduce the over-dependence on an authoritarian state.
In the company’s annual general, Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way said they are fully pushing ahead with the next steps in India, and maybe in a few months’ time, they will be able to reveal on the next steps on company’s website and report back to everyone. “We will have a further investment there,” he said without revealing further details then.
The investment will reportedly take place over three years and will add about 6,000 jobs at the Sriperumbur plant in Tamil Nadu, which at present manufactures iPhone the iPhone XR, Apple’s cheaper flagship iPhone. The older version of the iPhone SE and some other models that have been discontinued by the company were also manufactured in Sriperumbur plant. The assembly of the iPhone 11 in India would help Apple avoid a 20 per cent tax that it pays for importing the handset from its global manufacturing facilities.