Although Apple has initiated a hiring freeze at its core operations, it is expanding its manufacturing capabilities in India. Indian telecommunications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnau recently announced that India’s largest iPhone manufacturing plant will appear in Hosur near Bengaluru. This factory will employ nearly 60,000 people, of whom 6,000 will be women from tribes living in areas adjacent to Ranchi and Hazaribagh, who will be trained to produce iPhones. They will be the first employees of the new factory.
This is part of Apple’s big push for manufacturing in India, following their move to produce Airpods locally. There has also been a strong effort to close the technology gap with China and reduce the production backlog from the previous six to nine months.
This news comes after reports that Foxconn planned to create a workforce in India’s iPhone factories. They plan to increase the total number of employees to 70,000, adding 53,000 new workers over the next two years as part of Apple’s larger strategy to shift production away from China.
Meanwhile, Karnataka could also be home to India’s first chip factory, as the International Chip Consortium announced a plan to build a Z-billion-dollar chip factory in Mysuru. This is also backed by government incentives of up to $5.6 billion in support.
China is no longer a favorite.
China has been a sore spot for Foxconn and Apple, as manufacturers in the country have experienced production disruptions due to various issues. Their Zhengzhou factory has more than 200,000 workers and is expected to face capacity cuts during the upcoming Moon Festival and Chinese New Year.
Apple is also facing a supply shortage for its new iPhones due to an assembly unit shutdown in China. Not only has the country asked factories to close in August in the midst of a deadly heat wave, but it has also been extremely strict about its zero COVID policy.
Sources at Foxconn also said they plan to increase production in India to meet the country’s strong demand for iPhones, as well as increase production capacity for basic phone models.
Will India become Apple’s next gold mine?
India has become the apple of Apple’s eye, as Indian revenue for the tech giant recently touched a record high of $4.03 billion, an increase of nearly 45 percent over last year. India also set a new record for iPhone sales last quarter, cementing its position as one of Apple’s most valuable markets.
According to market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple has a 37% share of the premium smartphone market in India, and is the best-selling brand in the ultra-premium segment.
U.S. Hire Freeze vs. Indian Hire Mass.
Although not officially announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook said they were “very deliberate” about their hiring and that they continue to hire, but not everywhere in the company. In August, the company laid off about 100 contract recruiters as a cost-cutting measure amid their lackluster iPhone 14 sales worldwide.
Their expansionist efforts in India stand in stark contrast to the hiring freeze in the West. It seems that India has become the next big market for tech firms, which are not only building up their human resources capacity, but also using it to build production facilities.