Apple to Start Manufacturing Li-ion Batteries in India for iPhones

Apple creates focus on component production in India after huge success in assembly-based manufacturing

Highlights
  • Apple’s partner TDK will set up a battery production plant in Haryana, India.
  • This facility will produce lithium-ion battery cells for iPhones and other products.
  • TDK’s plant will also create over 10,000 direct job opportunities in the country.
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Apple has been rapidly expanding its manufacturing in India under its long-term vision to reduce its dependency on China. The company aims to produce over 25% of the global iPhone volume in India in the next couple of years through its partners Foxconn and Tata.

To improve its supply chain in the country, Apple will soon start manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in India. Apple’s battery supplier TDK will set up a battery production plant in Haryana. This new battery facility is expected to boost the manufacturing speeds of iPhones in India.

Apple and TDK To Manufacture Batteries in Haryana

India’s Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on Twitter that Apple’s global battery supplier TDK will start manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells in India. The company is setting up a new state-of-the-art plant in Haryana, creating 8000-10,000 direct job opportunities.

For reference, TDK is a Japanese electronics manufacturer and one of Apple’s global suppliers. As of now, the production of iPhones in India mainly consists of assembly as the core components such as batteries, display panels, and processors, are still made in China.

This will make TDK one of the first component manufacturers of iPhones in India. The Tata Group already produces iPhone casings for Apple at its Hosur plant, but it does not fall under the core electronics manufacturing category. Hence, TDK’s entry of battery production in the country is a big step towards the dream of a fully-made iPhone in India.

However, Mr Vaishnaw’s tweet does not share an estimate for the commencement of TDK’s operations in India. Considering that the company is yet to set up its plant in Haryana, we can expect the battery production to begin in the next two years.

Batteries Done, Processors Next?

The new 12th Gen Intel Core processors were unveiled recently

Although India is not yet self-sufficient in manufacturing core components for smartphones, our success with the assembly approach has attracted a lot of global players to consider India as a potential manufacturing hub. The Government of India has also announced multi-billion dollar incentives for semiconductor companies to set up facilities in the country.

US-based semiconductor giant Micron Technologies is setting up a $2.75 billion plant in Gujarat to produce storage chips. While these are not the processors, it will be a pioneer for India in semiconductor manufacturing.

However, modern smartphone processors are way too complex to manufacture, and India still has a long way to go in this journey. As we get started with the production of storage chips, the country will have to slowly advance with low-grade processing chipsets used in devices like calculators and remotes before reaching the potential for making smartphone-grade processors.

Until then, Apple is expected to continue its focus on expanding the assembly-based iPhone production in India. The company has already given huge targets to its partners Foxconn and Tata, and both companies have aimed to double their workforce in the country to boost iPhone production.