Apple will open its first Apple Online Store for the India market next month, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The online store will reportedly be up and running for the Dussehra through Diwali holiday season, which kicks off October 25 and runs through November 14. It comes as Apple is upping its focus on the India market.
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.
Wistron, one of the Apple manufacturers building iPhones in India, is reportedly planning to hire up to 10,000 people for its iPhone plant in Narasapura, claims a report for the New Indian Express.
The report notes that the facility is “expected to start commercial production” of the iPhone at the facility in the coming days. Wistron already operates an iPhone factory in Bengaluru around 70 kilometers away.
For the first time, Apple is manufacturing its current flagship iPhone in India, a Friday report from the Economic Times claims. The report says Foxconn is building the iPhone 11 at its plant near Chennai.
While many previous iPhones made in India have been manufactured for the local market, the story says Apple might export these devices internationally. Building some of its flagship iPhones in India would help lessen Apple’s reliance on China.
Yet another major Apple contract manufacturer is embracing India as a possible location for building iPhones. According to Bloomberg, Pegatron is the third major iPhone maker — after Foxconn and Wistron — to explore setting up a plant in India.
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn has successfully resolved an issue that was stopping its component shipments from China being imported to India, amid tensions between the two nations.
Customs officials were holding shipments from China following violent incidents at the Himalayan border, which is shared by China and India. This was reportedly causing problems for Foxconn, which carries out iPhone manufacturing (among other things) in both countries.
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, according to a Monday report from the Economic Times.
“We expect Apple to produce up to $40 billion worth of smartphones, mostly for exports through its contract manufacturers Wistron and Foxconn,” a senior government official told the publication.
iPhone achieved 78 percent growth in India’s fast-growing smartphone market year-on-year for the first quarter of 2020, new figures from Counterpoint Research suggest.
While Apple is still a tiny fraction of the Indian smartphone market, that makes the iPhone the third fastest-growing brand in the country, following Realme and Oppo. There’s still a long way to go before it can threaten the top-selling likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, and Samsung, however.