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  • edited December 2022
    The same article was first published in WSJ. Here is the link for the subscribers.

    Since it is behind a paywall, here is a short excerpt:
    India and Vietnam have their own challenges.
    Dan Panzica, a former Foxconn executive who now advises companies on supply-chain issues, said Vietnam’s manufacturing was growing quickly but was short of workers. The country has just under 100 million people, less than a 10th of China’s population. It can handle 60,000-person manufacturing sites but not places such as Zhengzhou that reach into the hundreds of thousands, he said.

    “They’re not doing high-end phones in India and Vietnam,” said Mr. Panzica. “No other places can do them.”

    India has a population nearly the size of China’s but not the same level of governmental coordination. Apple has found it hard to navigate India because each state is run differently and regional governments saddle the company with obligations before letting it build products there.
    “India is the Wild West in terms of consistent rules and getting stuff in and out,” said Mr. Panzica.
    The U.S. embassies of India and Vietnam didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Nonetheless, “Apple is going to have to find multiple places to replace iPhone City,” Mr. Panzica said. “They’re going to have to spread it around and make more villages instead of big cities.”
    This incident only illustrates the over-reliance of manufacturing complex and high-value products in China. For now there are few viable alternative countries for Apple iPhone 14 Pro, the most profitable phone.

  • India is already manufacturing iPhones.

    Comments about navigating Indian bureaucracy are valid, system of different federal + state regulations is comparable to the USA but no question a lot more laborious to navigate and master.
  • For now, the lower end iPhone models are manufactured in multiple Foxconn sites across Asia whereas the higher end 14 professional model is made in China. Presumably they are more complex and there are other supply chain considerations that are not discussed.

    This challenge is not limited to Apple, I am sure other smartphone manufacturers are facing the same issue with China. Switching contract manufacturer is not practical in the near term. The assembling lines are set and qualified to manufacture specific products.
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