Cheaper Apple iStuff? Foxconn eyes costs-busting Indian move

China’s wage inflation finally prompts action

Taiwanese multinational and Apple device manufacturer Hon Hai/Foxconn is planning to expand into India, opening roughly ten factories and date centres by 2020, according to Indian government officials.

Reuters reports the touted move may lower prices in "the world's third largest smartphone market where [Apple] trails Samsung Electronics and local players."

Foxconn has given no details yet, citing commercial sensitivity.

Subhash Desai, the Industries Minister of India's western state Maharashtra — who has acknowledged that the manufacturing giant is yet to provide a declarative commitment on the expansion — told Reuters that Foxconn "is sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in a month's time."

Wage inflation is accelerating in China, where Foxconn's base production sites are located, and the company may be looking for more fruitful areas to help it compete against Taiwanese rival Quanta.

Any move to India would also presumably be good news for Apple, allowing the fruit flinger to lower the price of its iconic mobile devices in one of the world's most vibrant mobile markets.

Foxconn/Hon Hai's operating income has increased year on year since 2011, and stood at $4.6bn in 2014.

Production in India is expected to provide consumer electronics for the international consumer electronics market, with Reuters reporting that "India has the second-highest number of mobile phone accounts behind China."

Hon Hai/Foxconn has previously come under scrutiny following a series of suicides, and more recently a strike regarding the use of robotic manufacturing technology to reduce costs.

Just over four pages are dedicated to "Labor Relations" in its 308-page Annual Report 2014 [PDF]. ®

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