A small number of Apple’s iPhone 15 models manufactured in India could be available on launch day for the first time, according to a report from Bloomberg. Apple has built iPhones in India since 2017, but it has typically taken up to a year to ramp up production. This time, a small number built in India could go on sale immediately in that nation and some other regions.
It’s been known for a while now that Apple contractor Foxconn would manufacture more iPhone 15 models than before at a facility in Tamil Nadu, India. It’s part of Apple’s plan to diversify manufacturing in the face of supply chain risks due to tensions between the US and China. The number of units available on launch day from India will reportedly depend on the availability of components manufactured elsewhere and Foxconn’s ability to ramp up production.
Apple has only built a fraction of its iPhones in India, and production has typically lagged behind China by six to nine months. That changed with the iPhone 14, as Foxconn (and another manufacturer, Pegatron) were able to start manufacturing in India within the same month of the official release. Apple intends to eventually shift 25 percent of its production to the nation.
Recent conflicts between the US and China haven’t impacted Apple much, likely because Foxconn and other suppliers in the nation employee millions of people. It also has followed China’s laws, removing thousands of illegal apps like VPNs. However, recent actions in the country to ban iPhones and other foreign devices for government officials have left the company more vulnerable than usual. Apple also sells a large number of phones in China, accounting for about 19 percent of its total revenue.
Apple is set to release the iPhone 15 today at its Cupertino HQ, reportedly with thinner bezels, a titanium frame, USB-C charging and more. We’re also likely to see updated watches and Airpods, along with its latest iOS 17, watchOS 10 and iPadOS 17 operating systems.