Apple aims to produce iPhones worth nearly ₹1 lakh crore in India by the end of the fiscal year in March 2024. With increased capacity at its manufacturing partners, the company has already achieved over ₹60,000 crore production in the first seven months. If Apple fails to reach the ₹1 lakh-crore milestone this fiscal year, experts predict that it will achieve this goal in the first quarter of FY25. Despite Apple's efforts to meet the festive demand in the US and the West, global headwinds and decreased consumption, especially in electronics, have affected sales. It is worth noting that around 70% of iPhones manufactured in India are exported. In the current fiscal year, Apple has already exported ₹40,000 crore ($5 billion) worth of iPhones between April and October.
In the fiscal year 2023, Apple has surpassed the total exports mark of the previous year, reaching a milestone of $5 billion in exports, according to industry executives cited by Economic Times. In the fiscal year 2023, the iPhone achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first single brand to surpass $5 billion in exports from India. Apple has continued to experience impressive growth in exports this year, with a remarkable 185% year-on-year increase in the first seven months. In the period from April to October of the previous year, Apple had exported iPhones worth Rs 14,000 crore. Navkendar Singh, associate vice president of client devices and IPDS at IDC India, was quoted by Economic Times as saying that Apple's strong export numbers align with its strategic focus on India as a market and its goal of establishing India as a key manufacturing and export hub in the medium to longer term. At the time of going to press, Apple had not responded to inquiries about production and export figures. Apple's production in India is carried out by Foxconn and Pegatron, both based in Tamil Nadu, as well as Wistron (now owned by Tata group) in Karnataka. This is part of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphone manufacturing. These companies manufacture iPhone models ranging from 12 to 15.
Under the PLI scheme, beneficiaries are obligated to provide the government with quarterly reports on production, exports, investments, and employment data. Last week, Tata Group and Wistron Hong Kong reached an agreement for Tata Group to acquire 100% equity stake in Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Pvt Ltd. This deal makes Tata Group the first Indian entity to officially join Apple's supply chain as an iPhone manufacturer. The deal is valued at $750 million, which includes a $550 million inter-corporate loan from the parent company to Wistron India. Apple has been progressively shifting its attention towards India, specifically in terms of iPhone production. Beginning in 2018-19, the company began exploring the potential of India as a manufacturing center. Over the course of a couple of years, Apple conducted market tests by producing limited quantities of iPhone SE, 7, and 8 models. According to an industry executive, Apple conducted tests in the Indian market between 2018 and 2020 to evaluate the manufacturing landscape, including factors such as the availability of skilled labor. In 2020-21, Apple fully committed to the Indian market, and as a result, the manufacturing capacity has significantly increased over the past 2.5 years.
The production capacity has significantly grown from Rs 16,750 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 60,000 crore within the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
Apple's focus on premiumisation is evident as they have started assembling non-Pro iPhone models in India. This move has contributed to the healthy production figures of Rs 60,000 crore. As Apple becomes more confident in India's manufacturing capabilities, it is expected that these numbers will experience exponential growth, according to Singh. According to market analysts, Apple is not only benefiting from its exports but also from the growing trend of premiumization in the domestic market. In fact, it is projected that Apple will sell a remarkable 9-10 million iPhones in India by 2024, a significant increase from the less than 7 million sold in 2023.