World’s most-popular smartphone maker Apple is likely to start production of its latest iPhone 11 series in India.
Apple has already started commercial production of its highly successful iPhone XR in the country, according to reports.
Industry sources said Apple’s move seems to be a result of the recent US-China trade war where the US proposed an increase in tariffs on Chinese imports. To counter this, Apple has been considering moving some of its manufacturing plants to India and certain other countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
For Apple, local production will also lead to a 20 per cent saving in import duties on handset. Apple is already manufacturing its older devices such as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6s at the Wistron factory in Bengaluru. The newer iPhones would be manufactured at the Foxconn factory in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), in the premium ($500 or Rs 35,000 and above) segment, Apple bettered Samsung for the leadership position with an overall share of 41.2 per cent in Q2 of 2019. The iPhone XR demand further saw an uplift after the price drop and aided by heavy promotional activities in the ongoing festive season.
Referring to the ongoing expansion activities, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou recently said the company would begin mass production of iPhones in India this year. The move will get Foxconn more deeply involved in the development of the country’s smartphone industry which currently has over 450 million smartphone users.
The iPhone XR made its debut last year alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max. The smartphone came with some of the same internal hardware including the A12 Bionic chipset. However, it used a lower resolution LCD panel instead of OLED and a less premium design. Currently, the handset is selling for starting price of Rs 44,900 in India down from its launch price of Rs 76,900.
The manufacturing of the latest iPhone 11 series requires better technical skills. Apple is likely to invest around Rs 7,000 crore in India as part of its move to shift some of its production capacities outside of China. There’s a trade war going on better the US and China, which affects Apple. Hence, the company wants to make India one of its major production hubs, according to industry sources.
The iPhones produced in India will not only be sold locally, but will also be exported to other markets. Apple currently exports the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 variants to Europe and the move is said to have been quite successful.
The Indian government has also been pushing Apple to manufacture its entire iPhone lineup in the country. India can be a huge market for the company and although it currently only has a small share in the smartphone market, it is expected to grow over time.