Only 50% of iPhone Casings Made in India Meet Apple's Quality Standards

Apple is facing difficulties scaling up its production operations in India amid poor component yields and slow progress, the Financial Times reports.

The company is apparently contending with immense difficulties in ramping up production in the country. At a factory in Hosur run by Apple supplier Tata that manufactures iPhone casings, only one in every two components coming off the production line "is in good enough shape" to be sent forward to assembly at Foxconn. The 50 percent yield is particularly low for almost any production operation and works against Apple's "zero-defect" manufacturing and environmental goals.

Former Apple engineers told the Financial Times that Chinese ‌iPhone‌ suppliers and government officials have a "whatever it takes" approach to win ‌iPhone‌ orders, describing how work was often completed weeks ahead of schedule at "inexplicable speed." Operations in India, on the other hand, are not running at this pace. "There just isn't a sense of urgency," one Apple engineer remarked.

Apple is apparently focused on a long term plan to improve manufacturing proficiency in the country. The company has sent product designers and engineers from California and China to factories in southern India to train locals and help set up production operations, according to four individuals who purport to be familiar with the matter.

Apple began producing entry-level ‌iPhone‌ models, starting with the iPhone SE, in India in 2017. Last year, Apple significantly stepped up its production in India, building some iPhone 14 models in the country within weeks of their launch in China.

Tata is said to have ambitions to become a full-service Apple supplier in the future and is in talks to take over a troubled Wistron iPhone assembly plant in Karnataka. Apple's long-term plan to diversify its global supply chain continues.

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Top Rated Comments

ilikewhey Avatar
19 months ago
LOL not surprised, folks ripping on "cheap crap from china" but have no idea how bad the alternative mfr from india is.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jhonjhon236 Avatar
19 months ago
Just lower the quality standards. Problem solved.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manofthematch Avatar
19 months ago
I have been working with a company from India and ... well.

To be honest they can be glad that 50% of the cases are OK.

India is a large country, but in many regions standards are very, very low. And to me it seemed that the attitude of the people is very different from the attitude of Chinese people.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TSE Avatar
19 months ago
This is a process that takes time. Years. We'll get there. You think Chinese factories would have passed Apple's modern quality standards when it opened up it's economy in the early 80's? Nope. It's an investment of not only money, but time and this is expected. The more Apple diversifies, the better. #AAPL
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BabaBooey23 Avatar
19 months ago
I remember listening to the Howard Stern show a number of years ago when Robin Quivers said she went on vacation to India. She said on the way from the airport to her hotel that what she saw and what she smelled disgusted her so much that she had the driver turn around and go back to the airport and she left without ever staying.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jaceapoc Avatar
19 months ago
Interesting that you've decided to use the verb "to purport" when talking about your sources on Apple engineers training people at Indian factories... Especially because "purport" implies it appears as false. Which means these sources can't be trusted at all?

Also, the reason Chinese factories are able to produce Apple's hardware at "inexplicable speeds" is because : modern slavery. It's not because the Chinese workers in those factories are more skilled than the Indians or whatever, it's because the Chinese workers are under tremendous amounts of pressure to produce by an authoritarian regime that will literally kill them if they don't almost kill themselves working incredible long hours. It's not "inexplicable", it's how 80-90% of the modern supply chain works nowadays. But of course, we don't talk about that. Instead, we talk about how "inexplicable" it is... Come on
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)