Apple appears to have begun exporting iPhones that are made in India to a handful of European markets.
According to a new report from the Economic Times, three sources close to Apple have confirmed the move, which will boost the Indian Government’s initiative for foreign companies to “Make in India” and another step in Apple’s efforts of making India a future export hub.
“iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 are being exported in quantities of under 100,000 units a month,” said Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, citing export data that the firm tracks.
“The exports have begun a few months ago to European markets,” he added.
As per the report, Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron Corp’s India arm, which began assembling iPhones in the country back in 2016, has become the first of Apple’s contract makers to export iPhones from its facility in Bengaluru.
“The other two people, who are senior executives in the industry said that the export volumes were about 70-80% of the total capacity at the facility.” reads the report. “Wistron has been making iPhone 6 since the year before and iPhone 7 since the beginning of this year.”
While Apple or Wistron have both yet to confirm the news, it is known that Wistron’s Bengaluru facility currently assembles the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7.
There’s now growing speculation that Apple will shift more production to the country as it looks to reduce its reliance on manufacturers in China due to the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. It’s expected that even Apple’s higher-end models could be produced locally in partnership with Foxconn.