India could likely become the key Apple supplier soon. US President Trump made it clear that the US-China trade won’t end any time soon as the US would place more tariffs on products imported from China which will commence from September 1. In a way, it means certain Apple products would cost more. In a contrasting statement, one of the renowned Apple analysts has said it might not happen at all.
He also said that Apple’s non-Chinese production locations, which also includes India, could become Apple’s key suppliers. Ming Chi-Kuo, who can be trusted with leaks, has said that by next year 15-25% of iPhone’s supply ratio will come from non-Chinese locations. Vietnam and India are the primary non-Chinese locations. Apple’s Indian supplier is Wistron which has a facility near Bengaluru.
A report by 9to5Mac states that it is expected that non-Chinese production locations to meet U.S. market demand in 2020. But Ming Chi-Kuo has said that expanding non-Chinese production capacity is challenging due to the low degree of production automation.
Kuo further added that Apple Watch will be manufactured in the non-Chinese locations, which might begin in 2020. As for iPad, he said that “it’s not difficult to expand non-Chinese production capacity to meet U.S. demand because of the higher degree of production automation and the smaller US market share.”
At first, it was reported that Apple had started manufacturing the iPhone XR and iPhone XS in India. Moreover, news also came to light revealing that made-in-India iPhone would be exported to Europe. If the aforementioned rumors are true, it could be good news for India. Today, Apple pays close to 30% of import duty as the iPhones sold in India aren’t manufactured here. If these events take shape, Indian consumers will most likely pay less for Apple devices than what they are paying today.