Apple's Secrecy Standards Complicate iPhone 14 Production in India

Apple will begin iPhone 14 production in India about two months after the first wave of devices are released out of China as manufacturing partners try to replicate the complex iPhone supply chain operation in another country for the first time.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb
Bloomberg reports that Apple has been working with suppliers to ramp up manufacturing in India and "shorten the lag in production of the new ‌iPhone‌ from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, according to people familiar with the matter."

However, Apple and primary ‌iPhone‌ assembler Foxconn have "ultimately determined a simultaneous start in India and China isn't realistic this year, although it remains a long-term goal," according to the report's sources.

Apple is said to be seeking alternatives to China amid the country's clashes with the U.S. government and strict lockdowns that have disrupted supply chain operations. To that end, Foxconn has reportedly been studying the process of shipping components from China and assembling the ‌iPhone 14‌ devices at its plant outside the southern Indian city of Chennai.

Aside from the massive issue of organizing coordination between hundreds of suppliers, one of the big challenges the manufacturer is said to have faced involves finding ways to maintain Apple's high standards for secrecy.

Local executives in India reportedly looked at the possibility of "entirely cornering off one of Foxconn's multiple assembly lines, sequestering workers and scrutinizing all possible ways in which the security around the device could be compromised."

Apple is also said to be concerned about Indian customs officials who often unseal packages to check if imported materials match their declarations, which could jeopardize the company's stringent product secrecy controls.

Given the high possibility of leaks and other operational challenges, Apple and Foxconn therefore have this year decided against a simultaneous launch in China and India, and the first ‌iPhone 14‌ models from India are likely to be finished in late October or November, following the initial September release.

Apple is aiming to announce the ‌iPhone 14‌ on Wednesday, September 7, with retail employees said to be preparing for a new product release on Friday, September 16, which suggests the new ‌‌iPhone‌‌ and Apple Watch models could see a release on that date. Apple plans to release a total of four ‌‌iPhone 14‌‌ models, including a 6.1-inch ‌‌iPhone 14‌‌, a 6.7-inch ‌‌iPhone 14‌‌ Max, a 6.1-inch ‌‌iPhone 14‌ Pro‌, and a 6.7-inch ‌‌iPhone 14‌ Pro‌ Max.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14
Related Forum: iPhone

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
24 months ago

Apple is also said to be concerned about Indian customs officials who often unseal packages to check if imported materials match their declarations, which could jeopardize the company's stringent product secrecy controls.
Reminds me of a story that’s been going around programmer/sysadmin circles since time immemorial (in internet time, that’s since the 50’s/60’s) - I grabbed this copy from a 1991 Usenet posting ('https://groups.google.com/g/alt.folklore.computers/c/YyHfdWL7htc/m/0lYLNohW8ksJ'):

I heard this story from someone who worked for a French company, they had a problem with a program on punched cards written for them by a US subsidiary. The programs never worked when loaded in France but the US systems house swore blind that they did at their end. Eventually, in exasperation, someone followed the working set of cards from the US to France. At French customs, they observed a customs official remove a few cards at random from the deck. Apparently, the French customs are entitled to remove a sample from any bulk item (such as grain), so a few cards from a large consignment shouldn't matter, should it?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bLackjackj Avatar
24 months ago

Local executives in India reportedly looked at the possibility of "entirely cornering off one of Foxconn's multiple assembly lines, sequestering workers
Absolutely absurd! It's only a phone, not a product that is going to change the world as we know it. Sequestering workers? Are they supposed to not have contact with anyone for fear of revealing a smaller notch or x zoom. My goodness,..grow up!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluecoast Avatar
24 months ago
I think that Apple's culture of secrecy is getting a bit silly when it's such a mega-corp. It's the behaviour of a cult rather than one of the biggest publicly traded companies in the world.

This culture started when Apple was far smaller in the 00s and the secrecy meant that the launch day impact gave them millions of $US free marketing.

Nowadays, people know most of the details of the iPhone before it comes out anyway (if you look hard enough).

I get that this secrecy culture will be important for new products - such as the Car and the AVR/VR products - but seriously: is there anyone in the world who is going to be surprised that Apple is going to launch new iPhones in September?

Anyone who is vaguely interested knows that there will be an iPhone 14 Plus and that the Pro models will have always on displays etc. etc.

And given Apple's size - and the importance of the iPhone in the wider culture - they're practically guaranteed wall to wall coverage on the day and the day after the iPhones are revealed, attempts at secrecy or not.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
24 months ago
Apple is also said to be concerned about Indian customs officials who often unseal packages to check if imported materials match their declarations, which could jeopardize the company's stringent product secrecy controls.

Apple could confuse potential leakers by shipping tons of the same processors as last year's model, since nobody thinks Apple would charge $1,000 for a new phone with an older chip. :cool:
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
petsk Avatar
24 months ago
How about moving production to US and Europe instead and keep your little secrets.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yellow8 Avatar
24 months ago
Logistic nightmare! Must be hard to pull off..
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)