Apple is assembling iPhone 13s in Brazil, but no iPhone 13 mini

A Twitter user was surprised to receive an iPhone 13 “made in Brazil”. The device has the reference MLPF3BR/A, while iPhones sold in Brazil but imported from China carry the identifier “BZ/A”. This production is limited to the iPhone 13 and does not concern the mini models.

Brazilian site MacMagazine has investigated, and reveals that Apple updated documentation with the local telecom regulator in January to add Foxconn Brazil to its list of manufacturers. Only iPhone 13s come out of this factory, and we won’t be able to find a Brazilian iPhone 13 mini or iPhone 13 Pro Max. This is not a first, and Apple has already assembled some phones in the country in the past: this is for example the case of the iPhone XR or the iPhone SE.

Why produce locally? South American countries have implemented protectionist measures to protect their economies, resulting in high taxes on foreign products. Apple avoids some of the costs by assembling certain devices directly on site.

Foxconn will produce for Apple in Brazil

Despite all this, Brazil remains one of the countries where Apple products are the most expensive: an iPhone 13 128 GB costs the equivalent of €1,455 there! The brand therefore puts the package on entry-level models or the most affordable, namely those that sell best. It is surprising that it does not produce an iPhone 13 mini either: one can imagine that the demand for this model is not strong enough to justify local production.

Apple’s production chains have never been so decentralized, and Cupertino is stepping up its efforts to reduce its dependence on China. Older generations of iPhones and iPhone 13s are produced in India, while some iPads and AirPods are made in Vietnam. However, the majority of the brand’s novelties remain assembled in Chinese factories.


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