Last December, we reported that Apple was planning to make top-of-the-line iPhones in India (in addition to the production of older models) to expand its participation in this market and, hopefully, increase sales in the country. More than that: it plans to open new stores in India and, for that, it is necessary that at least 30% of the materials used in local production come from suppliers based in the country.
Soon after, we learned that Foxconn, Apple’s main partner in the manufacture of iPhones, was interested in expanding its activities to India. Now, the company is finally about to start experimental production of the top-of-the-line iPhones in the second most populous country in the world. The information is Bloomberg.
This testing phase will take place before the Apple supplier starts mass production of the new iPhones at its factory in Chennai, southern India. Foxconn is investing in its factories there as an option to diversify its supply chain beyond China, where most of the company’s facilities are located (and the problems too).
Apple currently manufactures most of its gadgets with Foxconn but, in India, Wistron (another Apple partner) is already responsible for the production of older models, such as the iPhones SE, 6s and, now, also the iPhone 7. When making the top-of-the-line models in the country, it is likely that these devices will take a little more into account there by eliminating import duties and other costs.
As we said, all these efforts are expected to contribute to increasing Apple’s expressiveness in the Indian market, which dropped to around 1% in 2018. In the first two months of 2019, Apple marketed around 150,000 devices in the country, half of which was sold during the same period last year, according to updated data from Counterpoint Research.