Foxconn to hike its headcount in India by 4X to build more iPhone units

Foxconn to hike its headcount in India by 4X to build more iPhone units
There's no denying that Apple would love to move production of its devices, especially the iPhone, out of China. The tensions between the U.S. and the Communist Chinese government worry Apple and the company would rather move production to an area that is not a possible hotspot. Additionally, China's COVID lockdown in Zhengzhou has disrupted the assembly lines at Foxconn's top iPhone production facility in, something that could be repeated often should COVID become a cold weather event like the flu.

Foxconn to grow its headcount in India from 17,000 to 70,000 over the next two years

Even Apple has admitted that the COVID lockdown and the subsequent exodus of factory workers from the Foxconn campus will lead to lower-than-expected iPhone shipments during the holiday quarter. In the past, we've pointed out that India, Mexico, and Vietnam could be considered as possible places where Apple could have the iPhone built without the current worries that company executives have. There are even some consumers who are so addicted to iOS, they get concerned whenever there is the whisper of a possible iPhone supply disruption.

In India, the company that Apple pays to assemble the majority of its iPhone units each year, Foxconn, already has a facility turning out the handsets mostly for domestic consumption. It has done so since 2019 since it eliminates the Indian government from slapping an import tax on iPhone units brought into the country from China. Originally limited to the production of older models, Foxconn and Apple have brought the facility up to speed so that the iPhone 14 now can be made in India.

A Foxconn source in Taiwan familiar with the matter says that the expansion of capacity at its factory in India will allow Foxconn to not only meet growing domestic demand in the world's second-largest smartphone market, but it will also allow the firm to build more basic iPhone units for global distribution. This source added, "We are gradually increasing our production scale there."

According to Reuters, Foxconn has announced that it plans to quadruple the number of workers at its iPhone manufacturing facility over the next two years. Foxconn plans to increase the headcount at the factory in Southern India from the current 17,000 to a whopping 70,000 over the next 24 months. That would be an addition of 53,000 workers during that time.

Even at 70,000, admittedly a huge increase, the number of workers at Foxconn's India plant would still dwarf the 200,000 workers who toil at the contract manufacturer's Zhengzhou factory in China. It still is a huge commitment by Apple and Foxconn and over the next two years, Apple could look to increase orders to suppliers who ship to the factory in India. Apple will also look to increase its supply chain in the region.

Foxconn will be responsible for as much as 70% of global iPhone production this year

This year, Foxconn is expected to build nearly 70% of iPhone models produced globally, up from the 55% it assembled back in 2019. The company is headquartered in Taiwan. Brokerage firm Jefferies says that the firm assembles 80% of 6.1-inch iPhone 14 units worldwide, leaving Luxshare to produce the balance.

The production of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus is split 80%-20% between Pegatron and Luxshare respectively. Foxconn makes 100% of the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 100% of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.

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Reuters reports that Foxconn has already shared its plans to quadruple the number of workers at its Indian facility with officials of the state of Tamil Nadu where the factory is located. In the conversation, company officials reportedly told officials of the state that it is accelerating its hiring plans because of disruptions in China according to a government source.

The same source says that while Foxconn does manufacture devices for other huge global tech companies at its Indian facility, the decision to hike its workforce by such a large amount is to increase the plant's iPhone manufacturing capacity. Besides Foxconn, contract manufacturer Pegatron produces iPhone units in Tamil Nadu.

Indian officials in the state have asked Apple suppliers to expand their capabilities beyond the assembly of iPhone units in the country to include the production of components that are used to build the device. Neither Apple nor Foxconn have publicly responded to this request.

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