A U.S.-based Apple supplier, Jabil, has started producing components for AirPods in India, marking a significant step in Apple's push to expand production in the country. According to Bloomberg, this move makes the AirPods the second Apple product after iPhones to be made in India. The reason for this expansion is to reduce Apple's reliance on China for production, where lockdown disruptions and US trade restrictions have made manufacturing more risky.
Jabil operates a 858,000 square foot facility in Pune, western India, employing over 2,500 workers. Meanwhile, Apple's China-based suppliers are still waiting for the Indian government's approval to start manufacturing. This rush to gain approval follows news that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is drawing up plans to offer financial incentives to companies that produce wireless earphones and smartwatches locally.
Apple plans to triple its iPhone production capacity in India within the next two years. According to Bloomberg's sources, shipments of India-made iPhones to Europe and the Middle East are expected to reach $2.5 billion by March 2023, almost doubling the $1.3 billion worth of iPhones the country exported in the year through March 2022. However, it may take 8 years to move 10% of Apple's production out of China, where 98% of iPhones are still made.
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