iPhone-makers in India suspend production for COVID-19 lockdown

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Foxconn and Wistron plants in India are out of action for now.
Photo: Carnegie Council

iPhone assemblers in India have been forced to suspect production due to a country-wide COVID-19 lockdown, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Facilities owned by Foxconn and Wistron are out of action for now. Production won’t resume until Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government lifts new lockdown measures.

Flagship iPhones get more expensive in Apple’s biggest untapped market

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Slickwrap iPhone 11Pro
Apple has ramped up prices of the iPhone in India. For some devices, at least.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple has raised the price of several iPhone models — including the top-tier iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max — yet again in India, risking denting sales in the country that were just starting to take off.

The price hike is just under 2%, making it smaller than the sizable iPhone price increase Apple introduced in India in 2018. It follows increased import duties announced during India’s Union Budget 2020.

Shareholders meeting reveals Apple Store coming to India; Cook labels coronavirus ‘a challenge’

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steve jobs theater
Apple shareholders gathered at Steve Jobs Theater today for their annual meeting.
Photo: Apple

Apple hosted shareholders for an annual meeting Wednesday, and it was seemingly business as usual. CEO Tim Cook said the company will open its first Apple Store in India this year. He explained why Apple’s streaming service passed on a Friends reunion. He defended Apple’s role in FBI investigations when asked to retrieve iPhone data.

But the tech giant finds itself at an unusual moment in its history with a deadly coronavirus in China that halted business travel, crippled manufacturing, closed all 42 Apple Stores in the country and forced Cupertino to pull back on its March-quarter revenue protections.

iPhone captured 75% of India’s premium smartphone market last quarter

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
The iPhone just had a record quarter in India.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple captured a record 75.6% chunk of the premium smartphone market in India, a report by International Data Corporation (IDC) claims.

That market segment covers handsets $500 and above. That’s undoubtedly impressive, although it’s still a fraction of the overall market in a country where the average phone price is $159 and the average annual income is $1,892.

iPhone XR was India’s no. 1 ‘ultra premium’ smartphone in 2019

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iPhone XR was India’s no. 1 ‘ultra premium’ smartphone in 2019
The iPhone XR was a big hit in India last year. Relatively speaking.
Photo: Apple

Apple was reportedly the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year — with a massive 41% growth year-over-year. The iPhone XR wound up being the country’s most popular “ultra premium” handset, claims Counterpoint Research. This was followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus and OnePlus 7 Pro.

That’s great news for Apple. But there’s still a long way to go.

Apple supplier will start building crucial iPhone component in India

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Apple supplier will start building crucial iPhone component in India
Wistron will start assembling printed circuit boards for Apple in India.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple supplier Wistron has plans to assemble printed circuit boards for future iPhones at a new plant in southern India, a new report claims.

Wistron already manufactures iPhone 6s and 7 models in India. It started out manufacturing iPhones for the Indian market by building iPhone SE modes in 2017.

Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Apple has rolled out HomePod in a new market.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple has reduced the price of HomePod to $280, a further reduction on the $349 it charged initially for its smart speaker. Unfortunately, you’ll have to be living in India to take advantage of it.

Having released the HomePod in 2018 in the United States, Apple has finally launched it in India. This heavily populated market is comparable in size to China. However, Apple has not yet been able to make too many inroads in terms of sales.

First Apple Store in India might not open this year

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India Apple Stores
Until real Apple Stores open in India, this is what customers have to use instead.
Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC

Apple’s first retail store in India reportedly won‘t open in time for the launch of the 2020 iPhone. And even online sales allegedly won’t begin until the second half of this year.

There have supposedly been problems in Apple’s efforts to begin selling iPhones and other devices directly to consumers in India.

Things are looking up for iPhone in Apple’s biggest untapped market

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iPhone sales are showing signs of life in India
iPhone shipments rebounded in India last year.
Photo: Apple

There are few big markets that Apple has yet to crack. But one of the biggest, India, it’s really struggled with. In a population of more than 1.311 billion people, Apple holds just a few measly percentage points of the local smartphone market.

But things may be looking up slightly, as a new report makes clear.