In July 2019 Apple Inc. confirmed its wish to start the local manufacturing of the iPhone in India. However, in the backdrop of on-going US-China trade tensions, it seems that we could see “Made in India” iPhone in the Indian market much sooner than expected.
It looks like one of the beneficiaries of the US-China trade could be India and Vietnam, which could play a crucial role in manufacturing Apple products. It will eventually lead to iPhones costing less for domestic customers.
Apple confirmed that it started local manufacturing of the iPhone 7 in India. The iPhone 7 is being assembled at the Wistron plant in Bengaluru. This plant also produces the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE.
“We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers furthering our long-term commitment in India,” said Apple in a statement then.
Apple devices are known for their premium pricing, which has greatly limited its market share in India. India, the second-largest smartphone market in the world, is dominated by the more budget smartphone options, such as the offerings of Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus among others
Apple’s performance in India is significant, given its ambition to manufacture top-end models here. It bounced back to growth in the fiscal third quarter ended 29 June even as the company battled a tough sales climate and sold fewer iPhones globally compared with the previous year.
Apple’s last year reports indicate that the company has been struggling in key markets such as India and China. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped 1.7 million smartphones in India in 2018, almost 50% lower than shipments of 3.2 million units in 2017. Interestingly enough, Apple’s older models are more popular in India than the latest ones. The company is trying to win back its customers by slashing prices and bundling discounts. The local manufacturing will bring a positive feel for customers and might boost iPhones sells in the country.
The government has consistently pushed to show the world that India is a prime market and a great hub for smartphone manufacturing thanks to cheap labour and over a billion potential takers. Its push has seen smartphone giants such as Samsung and Oppo expanding rapidly in the country. Contract manufacturers such as Foxconn have seen the same success, ramping up local operations in India.