Apple Inc AAPL moved forward with its preparations to relocate part of its manufacturing outside of China. This includes major iPhone assembly plants that have been routinely interrupted by China's strict COVID-19 regulations, with large worker protests in November.
In late September, the company announced it started assembling iPhone 14 models in India, localizing the current lineup for the first time in the world's second-largest smartphone market, as analysts predict a greater shift in the American giant's future manufacturing.
Shifting away from China, Apple has three partners in India: Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.
It has two partners in Vietnam, Luxshare and Inventec, which are in charge of the AirPods and HomePods product lines.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last month that India may account for up to 45% of iPhone production.
According to Kate Whitehead, a former Apple operations manager who now runs her own supply-chain consulting business, getting all the elements to produce at the volume Apple requires is a difficult process.
Apple had been reliant on China for a variety of reasons, including political stability, a vast workforce and the country as a significant market for Apple's products.
The ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns across China have made matters worse for Apple. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told the Wall Street Journal that China's COVID-19 policy has been "an absolute gut punch to Apple's supply chain," and "this last month in China has been the straw that broke the camel's back for Apple in China."
Separately, Apple and Nvidia Corporation NVDA are poised to be two of the first customers for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s TSM new Arizona facility, which is expected to start producing some of the world's most sophisticated chips as early as the end of next year.
According to people aware of the matter, Apple will be the plant's most significant first-wave customer when it begins production, with Nvidia expected to follow suit.
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