The New York TimesThe New York Times

How China has added to its influence over the iPhone

By Tripp Mickle

06 Sep 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

As Apple gets ready to launch the iPhone 14 series, here's a look at how China has a stranglehold over iPhone production and how Chinese expertise is irreplaceable, even as Apple looks to India.

This fall, Apple will make some of its flagship iPhones outside China for the first time, a small but significant change for a company that has built one of the most sophisticated supply chains in the world with the help of the Chinese authorities. But the development of the iPhone 14, which is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday, shows how complicated it will be for Apple to truly untangle itself from China.

More than ever, Apple’s Chinese employees and suppliers contributed complex work and sophisticated components for the 15th year of its marquee device, including aspects of manufacturing design, speakers and batteries, according to four people familiar with the new operations and analysts. As a result, the iPhone has gone from being a product that is designed in California and made in China to one that is a creation of both countries.

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