- India has been the manufacturing hub for budget Apple devices like the iPhone SE, but that is set to change.
- The country will soon be part of Apple’s manufacturing process for flagship iPhones.
- Production of the latest iPhone devices is expected to begin in 2019.
Apple has been struggling in India due to the market being highly price-sensitive, but the brand is making some major changes to improve its foothold on the South Asian country’s market. India has been a major manufacturing hub for the budget iPhone SE and not much else.
India is known for its high import duties, and Apple has been in talks with government officials to discuss its manufacturing plans and the company’s future in India. One of the biggest issues Apple faces is the prevalence of brands like Xiaomi and Samsung who have their own manufacturing plants in the country that produce not only budget devices but also their top-end products. If the tech giant invests into manufacturing its flagships in India, prices of its flagship iPhones may drop significantly.
Navkendar Singh who is an associate research director at International Data Corporation stated “Widening iPhone manufacturing in India through Foxconn will allow Apple to hedge the risk of any new U.S. trade policies. Making more phones locally will help Apple save costly duties and boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship drive to make India a manufacturing hub.”
Currently, Foxconn is the primary manufacturer of flagship iPhones for Apple, and another manufacturing plant in India can boost Apple’s ability to meet user demands quite comfortably. Tamil Nadu is likely to be the location for the company’s manufacturing plant.
If Apple wants to get a clearance in India, the tech giant needs to achieve the benchmark of 30% locally-made products which will allow the company to open Apple Stores in the country. There are no official retail stores in the country because of the company not meeting the benchmark. The company currently relies on third-party resellers and distributors which further adds to the price tags in the market.