Having recently started commercial production of the iPhone XR at a Foxconn facility in India, Apple is now aiming to make the country one of its key global production hubs, The Economic Times is reporting. Sources say Apple wants to start assembling the latest flagship iPhones in India in sync with the worldwide release schedules.
Apple currently has two of its big global contract manufacturers operating in India. Taiwan’s Wistron had started the iPhone assembly in India near Bengaluru in 2017 before Foxconn, although it was limited to older models.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the publication says that Apple is planning to start manufacturing the latest iPhone 11 series in India. Apple will export the devices to other markets after having tested the waters with the export of older iPhone models to Europe in the past few months:
While Apple will be able to save around 20% in import duty through local manufacturing of the iPhone XR, the executives said this won’t lead to any price drops. Apple hasn’t cut prices on any of its locally made iPhones.
The US and China are said to be entering into a trade deal under which Washington is to suspend a proposed tariff escalation on Chinese imports. The ramp-up of India manufacturing will allow Apple to have an alternative base and derisk its production strategy, said the executives cited above.
Apple currently holds nearly a 2% share of the Indian smartphone market.