Apple and Flex are collaborating in India, with Apple sourcing battery packs from Flex’s India plant for its locally made iPhones. The move is a step-up for the Cupertino-based company in building a parts ecosystem in India, where it has so far struggled to have a wide presence. “Flex is making battery packs for Apple… supplies have begun for iPhones to be sold in India, and for exports,” a senior industry executive who is aware of its plans said.
Apple did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The development also comes at a time when the Apple has, according to media reports, asked suppliers to shift 15-30% of their production from China to other countries amid an escalating trade war with the US.
PCBA makes up for more than 50% of the production cost of a smartphone, and several players including Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Lava operating in India have already started assembling the component locally over the past few years.
With increased local sourcing, Apple may be able to meet requirements for setting up its retail stores under the Single Brand Retail Trade (SBRT) route, which was further eased last month.
According to the new rules, all procurements made from India by the SBRT entity for that single brand shall be counted towards local sourcing, irrespective of whether the goods procured are sold in India or exported.
“Apple’s India specific moves, including ramping up component production and manufacturing iPhones are part of its move to make India a prominent hub, and as a result of the ongoing trade war with China,” said Prabhu Ram, head of intelligence at Cybermedia Research.
Source: Economic Times