Apple ’s expanding local manufacturing operations in India at the cost of China has triggered scores of reactions on social media platforms such as Weibo and X questioning the quality of the latest iPhone 15s being made in the South Asian nation.
Made in India iPhones have led to some not-so-friendly exchange on social media between iPhone fans in India and China. Some posts on Weibo questioned the quality of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 models made in India. Some posts on Weibo claimed that made-in-India iPhone 15 models made in India are inferior in quality. There are issues like overheating, discolouration and chipping. Some Chinese netizens have also published tutorials on how to identify a ‘made-in-India’ iPhone 15 series model. These tutorials also suggest how to return these models to Apple.
Some Chinese netizens are also running a campaign to boycott India-made iPhone 15 models on Weibo. Some posts also wrongly claim that Europe and the US have rejected ‘made-in-India’ iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models.
Indian users and industry executives have strongly dismissed these claims. These posts vehemently say that locally made iPhone 15 models are as good as those manufactured anywhere else. “There are rumours that iPhone lenses made in India are dusty. This batch of iPhone 15 specially supplied to the Chinese market really has this problem. It will definitely be a huge blow to the sales of iPhone 15,” read a post on Weibo.
Similar posts were also seen on X, with one claiming that “a teardown guy showed Apple’s iPhone 15 and said there was dust in the lens and motherboard….”
This year India-made iPhone 15 and 15 Plus devices were made available on the first day of sale on September 22, along with China units, across the world. This is for the first time that India-made iPhones went on sale on Day 1. This underlines the US smartphone maker’s rapid expansion of its manufacturing operations in India. The country is now easily the second largest assembler of iPhones globally.
Incidentally, a report in the Chinese state controlled China Daily denied claims of diversion. But it took a potshot at Cupertino-based Apple’s India capacities: “…China is one of the largest markets for Apple, and the production capacity of India cannot meet the demand in China.”
Apple has been rapidly ramping up iPhone manufacturing in India ever since it started local production in 2017. It currently produces in India through three contract manufacturers – Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron, with the latter’s facility in Karnataka set to be taken over by the Tatas. Besides clocking record shipments in 2023 of nearly 7 million, which is expected to grow to 8-9 million in 2024, Apple shipped more than $5 billion worth of iPhones in FY23 from India and has surpassed Korean rival Samsung in terms of export volumes from the country as well.