Future iPads could be built in India as Apple further diversifies manucturing

hand holding 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the lockscreen displayed. The Apple Music widget is shown playing Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift.
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Apple is reportedly considering moving some iPad manufacturing to India in an attempt to help further diversify its manufacturing across multiple countries.

The iPads, currently built in China, would be another step in Apple's plans to reduce its reliance on a country that continues to suffer from COVID-19 lockdowns and unrest.

According to a new report, sources close to the Indian government claim that Apple is holding ongoing discussions about moving manufacturing to the country. However, no concrete plans have been made.

On the move

The CNBC report notes that Apple has already begun building the iPhone 14 in southern India earlier this year, while expansions of Apple's manufacturing footprint in the country are already underway.

However, while moving iPad manufacturing to India would solve the problem of China's COVID-19 issues continuing to rise, it isn't all upside. CNBC notes that workers could be an issue, at least initially.

"Sources caution that a lack of highly skilled talent and individuals with expertise in building highly complex devices like the iPad could slow down these plans in India," the report notes. It gets more complicated, too, with the information pointing to ongoing political tensions between China and India.

"The foreign policy backdrop also doesn't help, with tensions growing between India and China," CNBS says, adding that "the two countries have squared off in recent years over territorial disputes resulting in escalated military presence at the India-China border."

Analyst Gene Munster says that while only 10% of Apple's iPhones are built in India today, he expects that to increase to around 35% within the next five years. He also thinks that iPhone manufacturing could reach the United States, too. "I think Apple will add iPhone production to other countries outside India and China in the next five years. Perhaps Vietnam, Malaysia, and the USA," Munster told CNBC.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.