Apple has reportedly starting exporting some of its “Made in India” iPhones to Europe.
This marks a leap forward in Apple’s plans to make India one of its manufacturing hubs. Previously, phones made locally were only sold in India.
According to a new report, the phones being exported are iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models. These are being exported in quantities of under 100,000 units per month. These quantities represent 70-80% of the handsets produced at manufacturer Wistron’s factory in India.
The Economic Times, which reported the news, writes that:
“The move to use India as an export hub would bear well for both the country and Apple. While it would cement India’s position as an attractive destination for foreign investment for not just domestic market but also exports, Apple would benefit by fulfilling requirements for other markets from outside China, it’s largest base for contract manufacturing for iPhones.”
Ramping up manufacturing in India
Apple and its suppliers have been gradually ramping up manufacturing in India. For the past couple years, Wistron has been building the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s at its factory in Bengaluru. Earlier this year, it also started building the iPhone 7 at the same factory. It has also received approval from the Indian government to expand its manufacturing facilities in the country. Foxconn is additionally set to start building high-end flagship iPhones in India this summer.
So far, Apple has struggled to make major inroads in India in terms of selling its handsets. However, there are still reasons why it would be keen to embrace India as a manufacturing hub. For one thing, local production will help Apple with its goal of opening local Apple Stores.
For another, it would give Apple a viable alternative to carrying out the majority of its manufacturing in China. Apple recently asked its suppliers to explore the possibility of moving their manufacturing out of China.