Foxconn is reportedly looking towards India as a possible base for assembling the high-end iPhone models.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, senior executives at the Taiwan-based firm will head to India in February to discuss a potential move, and the delegation could even include Foxconn chairman Terry Gou.
Foxconn is also said to be considering Vietnam as it looks to diversify its manufacturing bases, but India has a better chance of seeing a Foxconn factory thanks to its larger growth potential.
Most importantly, Foxconn would potentially be assembling the most expensive models iPhone models, such as devices in the flagship iPhone XS family, the source said, potentially taking Apple’s business in India to a new level.
Another key Apple supplier Wistron already has an iPhone assembly unit in India where it assembles older models like the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s. However, due to the lack of relevant supply chain in the country, Wistron has been unable to assemble higher-end iPhones in India.
Foxconn’s move would reduce both the company’s and Apple’s reliance on China at a time in which turbulence in the Chinese market, both from customers and potentially trade tariffs, is causing headaches for the Cupertino company.
Foxconn in the past called the China-US trade war its biggest challenge. “The biggest challenge we’re facing is the U.S.-China trade war,” said Gou at the company’s 2017 annual general meeting. “In terms of how we manage and adapt, this is something all our high-level managers are making various plans on.” The continuous tensions between China and the US over trade and technology is pushing many other big companies to re-route their supply chain out of China.
In related news, the global tech slowdown is affecting some of Apple’s primary product assemblers, including Foxconn.