Apple manufacturer will start building iPhone 12 and iPhone SE in India

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An iPhone 12 concept video shows off lots of color options.
Apple's leaning more heavily on India.
Photo: Terquosive Labs

Apple manufacturer Wistron will reportedly build iPhone 12 models in India, although production will only begin in mid-2021. These handsets will reportedly be manufactured at the company’s Narsapura plant and be aimed at the local market.

The same report, from Business Standard, says that Wistron will also begin manufacturing the 2020 iPhone SE models by the end of this year.

India has played an increasingly large role in iPhone manufacturing. Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron have all explored Indian iPhone manufacturing. Apple began producing iPhones in India with the iPhone SE in 2017. It then expanded to the iPhone 6s, and other handsets. These were typically older models, which Apple could sell more cheaply than current flagships.

iPhone 12 and iPhone SE: Apple’s leaning more heavily on India

That strategy appears to have changed, however. For the first time, it currently manufacturing present generation iPhone 11 models in the country. By producing iPhone 12 models in India, it seems that ambition is strategy is continuing.

It is not clear from this new report which iPhone 12 models Wiston will be building for Apple. This year, Apple is expected to launch four new iPhones in September. This will include two regular iPhone 12 models and two iPhone 12 Pro models.

recent rumor suggested that Apple is putting together a supply chain consisting of exclusively Chinese manufacturers to build iPhones for the China market. Another international supply chain will focus on markets outside China. Tim Cook has reportedly asked Apple manufacturers to explore markets outside China. The Economic Times says that Apple is looking to ramp up its investment in India, shifting close to a fifth of its current production capacity from China to Indian manufacturers.

Despite the growth of Apple’s Indian manufacturing, however, iPhone sales are still low in the country. While it is growing fast in India, the iPhone is still a bit player in the Indian market. In a country with more than 1.311 billion people, Apple sells just a couple million handsets per year.