A Bloomberg report says that Foxconn will start trial production of iPhone X in India within weeks. The trial production run would happen before Foxconn starts mass production of high-end iPhones in its factory located outside of Chennai.
While not clearly mentioned in the report, it looks like Foxconn will also be producing the iPhone XS series for Apple in India. Foxconn is Apple’s largest vendor and will be investing around $300 million for setting up a production line for Apple. It would then expand the production capacity and the investment as demand ramps up. Foxconn and Apple will be using this factory to fulfill the demand for iPhones in India and export them to other neighboring markets.
Foxconn already assembles smartphones for a number of Android OEMs in India including Xiaomi and OnePlus.
The report also says that Apple has started producing iPhone 7 in India which was confirmed by the company in a statement. Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron is producing iPhone 7 from its Bengaluru facility. Wistron has so far been manufacturing the iPhone SE, iPhone 6/6s for Apple in India.
“We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers, furthering our long-term commitment in India,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.
By moving the production of new iPhones to India, Apple is hoping to enjoy some cost and duty benefits. This will allow it to reduce iPhone prices in the country which should help boost the flagging iPhone sales in the region. The move will also help Apple in diversifying its supply-chain and move it out of China. This will ensure that if the trade war between the U.S. and China intensifies, iPhone pricing would not be affected by much.
The absurdly high prices of newer iPhones in India has led Apple to lose out to the likes of Samsung and OnePlus in the high-end smartphone market in India. iPhone sales in India have crashed to their lowest in years due to extremely high prices of newer models like the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
It remains to be seen as to how much Apple reduces the iPhone prices in India later this year once Foxconn starts mass producing the iPhone X/XS in the country.