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As China’s relationship with the West continues to sour — not to mention problems surrounding the country’s zero-COVID strategy previously impacting production — pressure seems to be mounting on Cook to chart a path that both dramatically reduces Apple’s reliance on China and doesn’t upset Beijing enough to cause damage in the near term. India presents an obvious solution, but it will require close coordination and massive investment. Bloomberg analysts estimate it would take eight years to move just 10% of Apple’s manufacturing capacity out of China, where roughly 98% of the company’s iPhones have been made.

While it’s still a small fraction of Apple’s total manufacturing, recent research by Counterpoint indicates that the shift to India has already started with smartphone shipments from the country growing 65% over the last year.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing that Cook has going on in the kitchen. In just a few weeks, the tech world will descend on Apple HQ for their Worldwide Developers Conference. Rumors have been swirling about what could be the first major new Apple product category in nearly a decade with the unveiling of a “mixed-reality” headset that blends augmented and virtual reality. Reports suggest the headset would compete with incumbent gaming headsets but also expand Apple’s reach into the personal fitness world and perhaps offer virtual fitness classes. Apple has yet to officially announce such a product.

More: Is China headed for a crash?

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Mike Funderburk

Mike Funderburk


Mike Funderburk is a contributor to Moneywise.

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