Foxconn, the primary assembler for Apple iPhones, has purchased 1.2 million-square-metre land near the airport for Indian tech hub Bengaluru. The acquisition in Devanahalli marks a diversification away from China, where much of their manufacturing is based, amid strict Covid policies and ongoing diplomatic tensions with the United States.
Expansion and Diversification
Foxconn’s subsidiary, Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development, has paid Rs. 3 billion for the land. This acquisition comes in addition to its other unit acquiring land use rights of a 480,000-square-metre site in Vietnam’s Nghe An province. Both acquisitions represent a step taken towards consolidation to maintain a strong footing in the tech industry. Apple, on the other hand, is investing in diversifying its supply chain outside of China as its India push gains traction.
Apple to Manufacture iPhones in India
In March, Karnataka state chief minister Basavaraj S. Bommai announced that Apple would soon manufacture iPhones at a new plant in Karnataka, creating around 100,000 jobs. Bloomberg News reported that Foxconn was planning to invest $700 million in a new factory in Karnataka the same month, citing unnamed sources. Foxconn’s chairman, Young Liu, visited the state to “deepen partnerships… and seek cooperation in new areas such as semiconductor development and electric vehicles.”
Expanding Manufacturing Footprint in India
Apple has been attempting to expand its manufacturing in India and has recently opened its first two retail stores in the country of 1.4 billion people, home to the second-highest number of smartphone users in the world, after China. The Californian-based firm is betting big on India, with the country accounting for seven percent of Apple’s iPhone production last year, according to Bloomberg. Apple’s expansion in India is a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” strategy, which urges foreign businesses to manufacture goods in the South Asian nation.
A steady diversification away from China among the biggest electronics manufacturers opens up new avenues for nations such as India and Vietnam. The move is in line with current global trends in the tech industry, with supply chains under scrutiny due to the pandemic-induced chip shortage and increasing environmental concerns.