Apple supplier Foxconn has come under fire over the last few years for its factories’ working conditions in China, but the company is now making plans to open up a new Apple plant in one of the world’s other booming nations: India.
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The India government has previously blocked Apple from opening any brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the country because Apple don’t manufacture any products in India.
That could be about to change, however, thanks to a recent rumor claiming that Foxconn has been given permission to open new iPhone-manufacturing plants in Maharashtra, the heavily-populated state in the country’s western region which claims Mumbai as its capital.
The factories would benefit from government funding aimed at bringing more manufacturing companies to India.
Up until now, the majority of iPhones have been built in China, but long-time Apple manufacturer Foxconn could be setting its sights on a new developing market: India.
According to the Economic Times, the Foxconn Technology Group is set to pour money into three new facilities in India — based in the country’s Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh provinces — with a view to building iPhones for its biggest client.
After China, India is the next big developing market Apple wants to conquer — and apparently the Indian government couldn’t be happier about it.
Meeting with Apple’s regulatory head for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa on Friday, India’s Communications and I.T. Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the company to consider opening a Research & Development facility in the country — legitimizing India’s booming tech industry in the same way that Apple’s R&D facility in Israel does for that country’s.
“Apple is an effective brand in India and personally I requested them to consider opening a good R&D centre in India,” Prasad said, following the meeting.
After China, India is the next big frontier for Apple: with a massive 1.2 billion citizens, and an impressively growing smartphone market that is far from saturated.
So far Apple has had great success in the country, as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold roughly twice the volume of previous generation iPhones, and Apple has even proved willing to take a short-term hit on the earnings front to get more iPhones into people’s hands in the long run.
But one company isn’t happy about the iPhone’s success in India — and it’s doubling its efforts to get Apple barred from using the popular smartphone name in the country altogether.
As Apple continues it global expansion, India marks one of the company’s big next frontiers — with 1.2 billion citizens and a fast-growing smartphone market.
Today, the company gets some good news, in the shape of some great reports about the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the country. Since it launched the two next-gen smartphone handsets there in October, Apple has reportedly sold a massive half a million units in the country: twice what it managed during the same timeframe in 2013.
But Tim Cook’s not done yet. He wants to get more iPhones into the country, and that means… cutting Apple’s profits?
After an expansion into China that is nothing short of spectacular, Apple next has its sights set on India, with its vast population of 1.2 billion citizens and rapidly-growing smartphone market.
With that in mind, the company is reportedly finalizing plans to open 500 “iOS stores” in the country, ranging from smaller 300-600 square foot retail outlets, to ones over 2,000 square foot in larger locations.
These stores will likely be run as a franchise model, and operated by Redington, one of Apple’s two distributors in India, which supplies Apple devices to regional stores. Remington currently accounts for around 70 percent of Apple sales in India.
India is a huge growing market for the iPhone, but a trademark dispute brought by a local Indian company called iVoice Enterprises could throw a wrench in those plans — by attempting to bar Apple from using the handset name it made famous.
You see, as it turns out, back in early 2007 iVoice Enterprises tried to tap into what was then the start of India’s mobile revolution.
Their name for an affordable cellphone? iFon, phonetically pronounced “iPhone.”
After China, India represents Apple’s next big frontier, with 1.2 billion citizens and a rapidly growing smartphone market, that will have sold approximately 80 million handsets this year.
Which is why it’s great news that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is proving just as popular there as it is elsewhere in the world, with India’s first shipment of the iPhone 6 selling out in a lightning-fast 72 hours.
At 55,000 units, India’s first iPhone shipment may not have been the biggest one around, but it’s still impressive for a country that is still very much a developing market for high end smartphones. Last year, only 6,000 units of the flagship iPhone 5s were supplied by Apple, which also vanished from shelves very quickly.
Apple is bringing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to 36 new countries by the end of this month. The Cupertino company today confirmed that the devices will be available in Monaco on October 17 — the same day they go on sale in China and India — and then in Israel on October 23.