“We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers, furthering our long-term commitment in India,” Apple told the Economic Times newspaper.
The iPhone 7 units will seemingly be targeted at local customers. Making the devices in India gets around import charges designed to boost local manufacturing. This is part of India’s “Made in India” initiative. Wistron reportedly started building iPhone 7 models in India at the start of March.
The Apple supplier recently received approval from the Indian government to expand its manufacturing facilities in the country. This would be aimed at locally producing high-end Apple devices.
Challenges in India
Apple continues to face challenges in India. As the Economic Times notes:
“Apple is coming off its weakest year – 2018 – since 2014 and has revamped its management team and sales strategy, with analysts saying it’s clear that the company is planning to treat India more as a manufacturing and export hub – also in the backdrop of the China-US geopolitical pressures – rather than a destination for its products’ sale. The high prices of Apple’s devices and competition from Chinese players offering advanced features at far lower prices meant Apple’s market share in India sunk to around 1.2% in 2018, from 2.4% in 2017.”
Making the iPhone 7 in India is unlikely to drive up Apple’s volume sales in the country. However, it could be a valuable exercise in testing manufacturing for higher-end iPhones in the future. A number of other Apple suppliers, including Foxconn and Pegatron, have also shown interest in making iPhones in India.
Source: Economic Times