Apple Inc. is making headlines in India — yet again.
Despite iPhone’s marginal share in the world’s second-largest smartphone market — just about 4% in 2022, according to technology market research firm Counterpoint — Apple is expected to ramp up production of the device in the country as it looks to reduce dependence on China.
A forecast by DigiTimes Research earlier this month said India’s share of global iPhone production could match China’s by 2027. That prediction is far more aggressive than JP Morgan’s earlier forecast that 25% of all iPhones will be assembled in India by 2025. Indian tech experts aren’t surprised by this optimism.
“India is a very attractive market for smartphone players,” Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint, told me. India contributed to 3–4% of iPhone manufacturing globally in 2021, and Pathak estimates that number will jump to over 25% by 2027.
The Indian government’s push for manufacturing has increased smartphone production in the country in recent years. All three iPhone manufacturers in India — Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron — are participating in the government’s Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI), which offers incentives on incremental sales of products manufactured in factories in India. Launched in March 2020, PLI is aimed at enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and exports.
“PLI scheme and their production are expected to grow in the coming years,” Pathak said. “Infrastructure, a skilled workforce, and building a local supply chain will be the top priority areas for India to build itself as a smartphone manufacturing hub.”
Higher local manufacturing may also help Apple attract more buyers in India. “Device affordability due to promotions and financing schemes, as well as increasing local manufacturing for Apple, has been one of the key factors for this increase in share,” Pathak said.