(Reuters) – Apple is asking its suppliers to move some production of its AirPods and Beats headphones to India for the first time, it was reported Wednesday, in what could be another win for New Delhi in its quest for local manufacturing.
Citing sources, the report said Apple’s iPhone assembler Foxconn (NASDAQ:) is preparing to make Beats headphones in India and hopes to eventually produce AirPods in the country.
According to the report, Luxshare Precision Industry, a Chinese supplier to the iPhone manufacturer, and its units are also planning to help Apple make AirPods in India.
However, Luxshare is focusing more on its Vietnamese AirPods operations at the moment and could be slower than its competitors to start meaningful production of Apple products in India, Nikkei reported.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The tech giant has shifted some areas of iPhone production from China to other markets, including India, where it began manufacturing the iPhone 13 earlier this year, and is also planning to assemble iPad tablets. Last week, the company announced its plans to manufacture the latest iPhone 14 in India.
A Bloomberg News report released on Tuesday said iPhone exports from India exceeded $1 billion in the five months since April and are set to hit $2.5 billion in the 12 months to March 2023.
The Nikkei report said Apple’s latest move is part of its gradual diversification from China. India and other countries such as Mexico and Vietnam are becoming increasingly important in contracting with manufacturers that supply US brands amid China’s COVID-related shutdowns and the simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing.