A report from The Wall Street Journal today confirmed that Apple has completed a trial run of assembling iPhone SE in India at its factory in Karnataka.
The factory is being operated by Apple’s Taiwanese partner Wistron Corp. Apple also separately confirmed that it has begun assembling iPhone SE in Bangalore, Karnataka and will start shipping the first ‘Made in India’ iPhones to customers from this month.
Retail stores are expected to get their hands on locally assembled iPhone SE shipments by this week or the next.
The manufacturing of Apple’s cheapest iPhone model, the SE, was handled earlier this month by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp., which has an assembling unit in the southern state of Karnataka, a state official with direct knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Apple said in a statement that it has begun initial production of a small number of iPhone SE handsets in Bangalore and will begin shipping the Indian-made devices to domestic customers this month. The first devices could hit stores as early as this week or next, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As was reported last week, Apple aims to reduce the price of iPhone SE in India now that it has begun officially assembling it in the country. Apple wants to sell the iPhone SE at around Rs 20,000 through retail stores and will be further offering cashback offers on it to attract consumers. This way, the company is hoping to gain a larger share of India’s budget smartphone market which has been growing at a rapid pace.
Apple is also possibly looking at assembling other iPhone variants down the line so as to meet the local demand. By locally assembling iPhones in India, Apple is able to save on custom duties and import taxes that will allow it to pass at least some of the price benefit to customers.