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THE FINANCIAL TIMES reports:
Apple is hitting stumbling blocks in its effort to increase production in India, as the US tech giant faces pressure to cut its manufacturing reliance on China.
The iPhone maker has been sending product designers and engineers from California and China to factories in southern India, to train locals and help establish production, according to four people familiar with the operations.
It comes as Apple attempts to unwind its dependence on a China-centred supply chain strategy, following months of Covid-19 disruption that led to it reporting its first decline in quarterly revenues in three and a half years earlier this month.
Apple is building up nascent operations in India in an overdue diversification strategy, following the blueprint it set in China two decades ago, with engineers and designers often spending weeks or months at a time in factories to oversee manufacturing.
While Apple has been producing lower-end iPhones in India since 2017, last September was significant with Indian suppliers building flagship models within weeks of their launch in China, where virtually all iPhones and other Apple hardware are made.
But its experience in recent months has demonstrated the scale of the work to be done in the country. At a casings factory in Hosur run by Indian conglomerate Tata, one of Apple’s suppliers, just about one out of every two components coming off the production line is in good enough shape to eventually be sent to Foxconn, Apple’s assembly partner for building iPhones, according to a person familiar with the matter.
This 50 per cent “yield” fares badly compared with Apple’s goal for zero defects. Two people that have worked in Apple’s offshore operations said the factory is on a plan towards improving proficiency but the road ahead is long…
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