Apple looks to hit ₹1 lakh crore production milestone in FY24

Apple is targeting production of nearly ₹1 lakh crore worth of iPhones in India this fiscal ending March 2024, having ramped up capacity at its manufacturing partners and achieved over ₹60,000-crore production in the first seven months, officials aware of the matter said.

In case the Cupertino-based technology giant misses the ₹1 lakh-crore milestone this fiscal, it will reach there in the first quarter of FY25, they said. Apple is gearing up to cater to the festive demand in the US and the West starting this month, but due to global headwinds, consumption, including that of electronics, is down in the West, officials said. Around 70% of iPhones produced in India are exported. So far, Apple has exported ₹40,000 crore ($5 billion) worth of iPhones in the April to October period this fiscal.

$5 billion export mark crossed in FY23
Apple surpassed the total exports mark of last fiscal, industry executives told ET.

In FY23, iPhone had become the first single brand to cross the $5-billion export mark from India. This year, Apple has registered a 185% year-on-year growth in exports in the first seven months. During April-October last year, it had exported Rs 14,000 crore worth of iPhones.

“This healthy export numbers are in line with Apple’s focus on India as a market and, more importantly, making India as its important manufacturing and export hub, in the medium to longer term,” said Navkendar Singh, associate vice president, client devices & IPDS, IDC India, said.

Queries sent to Apple regarding production and export figures remained unanswered at the time of going to press.

The production for Apple in India is done by Taiwan’s Foxconn and Pegatron based out of Tamil Nadu, and Wistron (now owned by Tata group) located out of Karnataka as part of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphone manufacturing. They make iPhone models ranging from 12 to 15.

Beneficiaries of the PLI scheme are required to submit production, exports, investments and jobs data on a quarterly basis to the government.


Tata-Wistron deal
Last week, Tata Group had signed an agreement with Wistron Hong Kong to acquire 100% equity stake in Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Pvt Ltd, thus becoming the first Indian entity to officially join the Apple supply chain as an iPhone manufacturer. The deal was worth $750 million including $550 million inter-corporate loan by the parent to Wistron India.

Apple has been steadily increasing its focus on India, especially for iPhone manufacturing. The company started looking at India as a potential manufacturing hub from 2018-19 onwards. For a couple of years, it tested the market while making limited numbers of iPhone SE, 7 and 8 models.

As per an industry executive, from 2018-20, Apple tested the Indian market for manufacturing landscape, including availability of skilled labour, etc, and came with full strength in 2020-21. The manufacturing capacity has risen exponentially in the last 2.5 years.

From a total production of Rs 16,750 crore in 2020-21, the capacity has increased to Rs 60,000 crore in just seven months of the current fiscal.

Focus on premiumisation
“Apple is already assembling non-Pro iPhone models in India. The production of such high-volume models is the reason for such healthy production figures of Rs 60,000 crore. As Apple gets more confident about India’s manufacturing prowess, these numbers will see exponential growth,” Singh said.

Market trackers believe that in addition to exports, Apple is already reaping the benefits of increasing premiumisation in the domestic market. In fact, Apple is expected to sell a record 9-10 million iPhones in India in 2024 compared with less than 7 million in 2023.


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