Apple is set to begin manufacturing iPhones in India whether or not it has received agreement from the government over proposed tax relief incentives, a new report claims.
The first iPhones to be assembled in India are said to be 300,000 – 400,000 iPhone SE models, which will be manufactured at a plant owned by Winstron in Karnataka, Bengaluru.
Wistron received fast-tracked approval to expand its factory operations in the Indian city of Bengaluru last year. If this “taster” of Indian manufacturing goes well, Apple could conceivably shift more of its iPhone manufacturing operations there in the future.
Although the iPhone SE is sold around the world, the particular iPhone SE units Wistron will build at this factory initially will be targeted at the domestic market in India, which Apple is keen to cater to in order to build iPhone market share.
From Apple’s perspective, India represents a massive opportunity. The country is one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets, where 750 million handsets will be sold by 2020. However, despite Apple continuing to improve its operations in the country each year, for the December 2016 quarter it managed to only secure 2 percent of the market share.
The problem for Apple is that its iPhones are too expensive for the average India citizen. Apple recently made a renewed bid to get around this by requesting permission to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country: an ambition that was previously squashed by a consortium of local smartphone OEM rivals.
Source: Economic Times