India might steal iPhone production from China


Foxconn will make all three of these 2018 iPhone models in India for the first time.
Photo: Apple

Apple is reportedly significantly increasing iPhone production in India. Rather than just making low-end handsets, the latest top-tier models will be manufactured and sold there.

These will be less expensive than imported units and might improve Apple’s sales in this huge potential market.

Wistron has long made iPhone 7, 6S and SE units in India, but, for the first time, Foxconn is beginning production of the last year’s iPhone XS and XR in that country, according to Reuters, citing an unnamed source.

This is a change that has been coming for some time. Reports of iPhone XS production in India date back months. But the wait is almost over.  The devices could begin appearing in Indian stores as early as next month.

Apple’s struggles with India

India’s government levies 20 percent tariffs on imported high-end phones in hopes of forcing companies to produce them locally. By avoiding those, an iPhone XS or XR made in-country could be sold for significantly less than one made in China. This might help Apple increase sales in India, where Apple has about 1% of the market.

This change also might convince the Indian government allow company-owned Apple Stores. These aren’t permitted until a certain quota of devices are produced locally. Apple has never made enough iPhones in India to qualify, and had to find work-arounds.

This news comes just hours after word that some of Wistron’s India-made iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 units will be exported to Europe.

 

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