Apple has started exporting iPhones from its factories in India to certain markets of Europe. Apple primarily manufactures older iPhones in India like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 via its manufacturing partner Wistron.
As per Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research, Apple is exporting around 100,000 units of iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 per month. Apple seemingly started exporting older iPhones from India to European markets a few months ago. The export volumes are around 60-70 percent of the total production capacity of the factories. This is the first time that Apple is using one of its production facility in India as an export hub. So far, it had only used its factories in India to meet local demand.
The Indian government has increasingly encouraged companies to manufacture their products in India as a part of its Make in India program. Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron started producing iPhone 6s and iPhone SE in India in 2016 and started manufacturing the iPhone 7 from earlier this year. The Indian government has slapped heavy custom duties on smartphones that are not being manufactured in India. This is the reason why iPhones are exorbitantly priced in India while Samsung and other OEMs are able to price their smartphones competitively.
Apple’s major manufacturing partner Foxconn is also in talks to set up an iPhone factory in India to manufacture high-end iPhones like the iPhone X/XS. The move will not only help Apple in lowering iPhone prices in India but also help it avoid being a casualty in the trade war between China and the United States.
If Apple starts exporting flagship iPhones from India to other parts of the world, it would be a major win for the Indian government. It would also help Apple gain traction in the Indian smartphone market where it has rapidly lost market share over the last couple of years.
[Via ET Tech]