An industry source with direct knowledge stated that Apple will start assembling the iPhone SE model at a contract manufacturer’s plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru. The iPhone SE is the company’s lower-priced product.
Wistron Corp, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner, is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones.
This move comes as Apple seeks to increase its share in India, which is the world’s fastest growing major mobile market. iPhones are dominated by handsets far cheaper, this is why Apple is trying to lower prices.
The company has been seeking to construct local production lines and has been in talks with the Indian federal government regarding issues such as tax concessions.
On Friday, The Economic Times newspaper reported that Apple planned to initially assemble 300,000 to 400,000 iPhone SE handsets in India, however, the industry source said that the numbers would be substantially lower to begin with, the source added that it’s too early to say which other phone models Apple would assemble at the Indian plant.
Stats and Numbers
According to market researcher Counterpoint, 2.5 million iPhones were shipped to India last year, third of which was in the December quarter.
They also estimate that three-quarters of smartphones sold in India were made locally. In the 4th quarter, Apple ranked 10th in the smartphone market in India, but the company dominated the premium segment with a market share of 62%
India’s smartphone market is dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and a number of Chinese companies, including Xiaomi and Vivo.
The majority of smartphones sold in India cost less than 15,000 rupees ($225). In contrast, the least expensive iPhone SE model sells on Amazon.com’s India site for 28,433 rupees ($424).