FP employees10/07/2022 19:36:07 IST
After Apple shifted a large part of the iPhone 14 series from China to India, Apple now wants to shift a significant part of the production of its premium earbuds. Apple has decided that its factories in India should manufacture a large portion of its AirPods and Beats-branded audio devices in India, and has asked its suppliers to refocus on where they ship their components.
The move is part of Apple’s gradual diversification out of China as it aims to reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions stemming from the country’s strict zero-COVID policy and tensions with the US
Apple has been in talks with a number of its suppliers about ramping up production in India, including key acoustic equipment. The Cupertino-based tech giant plans to ramp up production of AirPods and Beats devices in India as early as next year.
Currently, a large part of the AirPods and Beats acoustic devices are manufactured by Foxconn and Luxshare Precision Industry. While Foxconn is already poised to start manufacturing Apple’s audio devices once they receive regular components, Luxshare and its subsidiaries, which already produce AirPods in Vietnam and China, will soon set up factories or partner with local manufacturers.
By moving production of AirPods and Beats to India, Apple will increase its manufacturing presence in the country. Apple began manufacturing some of the older versions of the iPhone in India in 2017 when Wistron, one of Apple’s manufacturing partners, set up a factory in India. Apple’s manufacturing in India started to grow in earnest after Foxconn set up its factory in Tamil Nadu, where they initially only made non-flagship and some older iPhones for the Indian market.
Until now it is not clear which AirPods will be manufactured in India. In all likelihood, the Indian establishments will start with the most affordable version of the AirPods, namely the AirPods 2nd Gen, which has been around for a while.
The AirPods Gen 3, which comes at a higher price point and forgoes basics like ANC and transparency modes, can also be made. The AirPods Pro 2 might not be made in Apple’s Indian factories to begin with, but once they sort out the production process and fix all the issues, the AirPods Pro 2 might also be made in India.