Foxconn's founder and chairman Terry Gou has announced that the company will kick off mass production of iPhones in India from later this year. India is in the midst of an election cycle, and as such the government is keen to award deals in the manufacturing space. Wiston got the nod for a new $715 million facility a few months ago, and now Foxconn is set to significantly expand its presence in the country.
Gou also revealed that he would step back from day-to-day operations, instead focusing on long-term strategy. Foxconn has been manufacturing older iPhones in a facility in Bangalore for some time now, but it will now start making newer models.
Trial production of the iPhone X is already underway, with full-fledged assembly set to kick off at its Chennai plant in the coming months. The goal is to set up the manufacturing lines in time for the launch of the next iPhone in September, which gives Foxconn the ability to cater to India as well as other regions. From South China Morning Post:
His announcement has come as Foxconn, the largest private employer in China, is expanding its manufacturing operations in India, the world's second biggest smartphone market, as well as entering new hi-tech fields, including artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving.
Gou said at the same event in Taipei on Monday that Apple's iPhone will start mass production in India this year, which will get Foxconn more deeply involved in the development of the country's smartphone industry.
The new production lines in India also reflect how Apple, Foxconn's biggest customer, sought to grow sales of the iPhone in a vastly untapped market, where it also faces competitors like Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi Corp that have outpaced the US company in China.
The move is a win-win for Foxconn and Apple. By expanding its manufacturing facilities in India, the company reduces its reliance on China for production, and Apple is able to dodge the 30% import tax that is currently levied on the latest iPhones that are being imported from other markets.