Apple is looking into shifting a significant portion of its production to India from China, a move that would make the tech behemoth India’s largest exporter, according to a report from Indian news outlet The Economic Times
The iPhone maker is considering producing up to $40 billion worth of smartphones over the next five years through manufacturers Wistron and Foxconn, the Indian Economic Times reported, citing a government official.
The development comes as the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, disrupted supply lines for tech companies.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with top executives of Apple, Samsung and domestic phone manufacturer Lava last December to start the process.
“India isn’t a big market for Apple as the company sells only a fraction of its total output in India. It is actually looking at India as a base to manufacture and export, essentially diversifying its production out of China,” an official told the Indian Economic Times.
Apple sells phones worth about $1.5 billion in India, of which about $500 million is manufactured locally, the report said.
By comparison, Apple in 2018-2019 produced about $220 billion worth of merchandise in China, with $185 billion of that exported.