Report Examines Challenges Apple Has Faced in Expanding Manufacturing in India

The Information has published a detailed look into the challenges that Apple has faced in expanding its manufacturing operations in India, including strict labor laws, unsatisfactory health and safety standards, and protectionist trade policies that have resulted in rising tariffs on smartphone components.

iphone assembled in india
An excerpt from the paywalled report:

For example, one Indian supplier Apple approached in 2018 was Superpacks, which operated a packaging factory in Bangalore. Apple sent auditors to assess whether its supplier responsibility practices were up to Apple's standards. The audits revealed dozens of violations. The site had no safety measures for storing chemicals, lacked monitoring for noise and wastewater, and didn't have several environmental and construction permits. It didn't properly test drinking water for workers and the site lacked a fire hydrant system, according to a person close to Apple.

Apple spent months pushing Superpacks to fix the violations. However, the Indian company stopped giving updates and missed deadlines for fixes. Apple ultimately didn't give it a business contract. Superpacks didn't respond to a request for comment.

Apple has reached agreements with some suppliers in India, such as Wistron, which assembles the iPhone 7 in the country. However, the majority of Apple's manufacturing remains in China, with recent issues such as the U.S.-China trade war and the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak emphasizing the need for diversification.

As the report notes, India recently relaxed rules on local sourcing of components, paving the way for Apple to open an online store in India later this year and its first retail store in the country by next year.

Full Article: Inside Apple's Search for an Indian Supply Chain by The Information

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

BrentT Avatar
10 months ago
We want phones at a certain price point. We want workers to not be exploited. It seems these are mutually incompatible requests.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
julesme Avatar
10 months ago
Hmmm...I’m at a loss here, driving myself crazy trying to find a single country that tests its drinking water and knows how to deploy fire hydrants. Where on earth could such a place exist???!

This is a real head scratcher!

- Tim Apple
A real American Patriot

/s
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will do good Avatar
10 months ago


Its always puzzled me why Apple has never setup its own iPhone assembly factory somewhere here in the States.

They certainly have the Coin to create a "seasonal" campus somewhere here !

Everyone knows Cook's Apple sucks at Innovation.

His specialty was supposed to be Manufacturing Operations Efficiency !

He appears to have failed BIG time here (as well), by putting ALL of Apple's Eggs into one Basket (China !) !

I don't know? could it be cost as well as where will you find couple of hundreds thousand people on a short notice? But you are right, you and most people on this board can fix any world problem, wish they would just ask.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m4mario Avatar
10 months ago


Hmmm...I’m at a loss here, driving myself crazy trying to find a single country that tests its drinking water and knows how to deploy fire hydrants. Where on earth could such a place exist???!

This is a real head scratcher!

- Tim Apple
A real American Patriot

/s

LOL. If you want to manufacture in America, you would need to issue new H1B visas as there is no skilled, willing labor available to do such jobs.
I am still searching for the American who wants and trains their kids to work in an assembly plant. There are countries where it is the parent's dream that their child could work in an environment with American safety standards.
Americans who want manufacturing to happen in America are not willing to work in a manufacturing plant. That is the real head scratcher.

Do you think there are enough Americans who can do this?



Do schools here train for something like this? At least are there enough Americans who want to do this for a living and are willing to train for this?

Please understand that manufacturing is a super low income, super hard job. America can and does provide better opportunities. That is why no one here is willing to work in an assembly line. And that is a good thing. Don't let politicians fool you otherwise.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScooterComputer Avatar
10 months ago


Hmmm...I’m at a loss here, driving myself crazy trying to find a single country that tests its drinking water and knows how to deploy fire hydrants. Where on earth could such a place exist???!

This is a real head scratcher!

- Tim Apple
A real American Patriot

/s

Well, [USER=1052671]@julesme[/USER], you see if Apple manufactured in the USA, they'd not be able to take advantage of all those very high tech accounting [S]schemes[/S] practices to [S]avoid[/S] pay the taxes they owe, because they'd not be able to export and import and export and import and export and import through a dozen other countries[S] helping out all those economies[/S]. ;)

For all the newcomers, Apple used to manufacture all their computers in the USA, in California (! believe it or not, in Fremont) and Colorado (Fountain). But yes, computers cost a LOT more back then. Then again, manufacturing was very different back then too, much more costly and labor intensive, not as automated. I am somewhat dubious of claims that Apple could not manufacture in the US today; I think that claim comes with a very big *, which is "at the very high profit margin they want". But when analysts like iSuppli/IHS put the labor cost for iPhones at around $2, you really have to wonder… the average hourly Chinese factory worker makes $3.60/hour (yes… really) so are we really saying Apple couldn't get Americans to buy iPhone for an extra $50 that used non-near-slave-labor?? They charge $100 to go from 32GB to 64GB, and that's like $4 of chip cost delta. I'd happily pay up for the 128GB model if I knew it was manufactured in the US. And I'm not anti-Chinese; I'm just pro-American laborer/economy. (Not to mention the logistics cost-benefit of shipping within a primary market vs putting inventory on a supertanker for an ocean voyage.)

The problem isn't really American capability, it is 100% due to business and accounting decisions and profiteering. Simple as that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mousse Avatar
10 months ago


Its always puzzled me why Apple has never setup its own iPhone assembly factory somewhere here in the States.

They certainly have the Coin to create a "seasonal" campus somewhere here !

Everyone knows Cook's Apple sucks at Innovation.

His specialty was supposed to be Manufacturing Operations Efficiency !

He appears to have failed BIG time here (as well), by putting ALL of Apple's Eggs into one Basket (China !) !

The reason is in the article. In the first sentence even...

The Information has published a detailed look into the challenges that Apple has faced in expanding its manufacturing operations in India, including strict labor laws, unsatisfactory health and safety standards, and protectionist trade policies that have resulted in rising tariffs on smartphone components.

Timmy can't exploit prison labor, so no iPhones manufacturing in the US. Forget about it. ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5smk-U0WkA')
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...