Home / Opinion / Quick Edit /  An AirPod aerobridge

The Indian unit of Jabil Inc., a key supplier of Apple Inc., has started exporting AirPod cases from India, according to a Bloomberg report. As sources attest, these plastic enclosures are being shipped to China and Vietnam, where the brand’s wireless earphones are put together. While AirPods may not be the most valuable item sold by Apple, the local manufacturing of a key component is important to India’s game of embedding itself deeper in its global value chain. So far, only iPhones have been assembled here. Case-making could be a bridge towards making AirPods here. Whether they’ll get more affordable here, though, is far from assured. Several other Apple suppliers have received approvals from the Indian government to produce locally, and their investments are seen as a victory for the Centre’s Make in India programme, which has brought the industrial policy to the forefront with its production-linked incentives. With public money in use and Indian labour costs lower than in other Asian countries, local consumers have been hoping for price relief on pricey Apple products. International pricing strategies, however, are rarely cost-plus for such premium brands.

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