The iPhone is actually a fairly multi-cultural device – designed in California, manufactured by Foxconn in China, coveted by high society in Sri Lanka. A small part of that equation might change in the not-too-distant future: Foxconn is checking out India as a place to set up manufacturing operations. Foxconn Group president Calvin Chin and Vincent Tong, Chairman of FIH Mobile Ltd (formerly Foxconn International Holdings Ltd) met up with Chandrasekar Rao, Chief Minister for the state of Telanganar. While no specific plans have leaked out from Foxconn’s end, there’s talk of a mobile manufacturing hub being set up in Hyderabad, providing some 200,000 jobs in the process.
This is not an isolated operation: Foxconn recently revealed plans to create up to a dozen facilities in India, both for manufacturing and use as data centers. Despite a shutdown of their facility in Chennai (who knew they had one, right?) it seems that they may end up setting up shop in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. They’ve hired Josh Fougler, who was formerly involved in setting up the ill-fated Nokia plant in Chennai.
All of this appears to be prompted by two things – the rising cost of wages in China and the possibilities of working with India’s massive domestic smartphone industry (Micromax, for example, is second only to Samsung in sales). Either way, we might end up with an iPhone that says “designed in California, manufactured in India” soon.