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HUMANITY

Foxconn may start making iPhones in India as Chinese labor gets more expensive

By Svati Kirsten Narula

Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes iPhones for Apple, is reportedly in talks about shifting some iPhone production from mainland China to new factories in India.

Such a move, which is in part a reaction to rising labor costs in China, could also lower iPhone prices in India and help Apple compete more effectively there against companies like Samsung and Xiaomi.

Foxconn has historically manufactured Apple products—including most of the world’s iPhones—at factories in China. A 2011 experiment with opening an iPhone factory in Brazil has not gone well, but the company remains interested in expanding production around the world as Chinese factory labor gets more expensive.

Subhash Desai, an Indian government official in Bombay, gave Reuters the scoop, saying that “Foxconn is sending a delegation… to scout for locations” and that the company, though it has not made any commitment yet, intends to manufacture iPhones, iPads and iPods in the new facilities. Anonymous sources had said as much to reporters at the Economic Times in April.

Foxconn did previously have facilities in India for manufacturing Nokia phones, but those were shut down in 2014. The company has said that it plans on opening between 10 and 20 new factories in India within the next five years, but has yet to specify details. It declined to comment to Reuters.