Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron has opened its third production facility in India. This will further help boost the production of iPhones under the ‘Make in India’ program.
Wistron had received approval from the Indian government to set up a new Rs 5,000 crore factory in India in March last year. The company has already completed trial production at the facility. It is now looking to hire people for top- to mid-tier management roles and then start production of low-cost iPhones. Presumably, the factory will be used to first assemble iPhone 8 before expanding to other low-cost iPhones including the upcoming iPhone 9.
Apple’s major manufacturing partner Foxconn has also expanded its production facility in India and has been making iPhone XR units there. Locally assembled iPhone XR units had started hitting the retail stores in India in October last year itself.
By locally producing iPhones, Apple is able to save on import duties and customs which allows it to price them sensibly. The iPhone 11 Pro series is imported from China in India and after taxes, its prices start at Rs 99,000 which is about US$1,400. Since Apple is able to assemble older iPhones in India, it is able to price them more competitively in the price-sensitive smartphone market of the country. It remains to be seen when Apple starts producing high-end iPhones in the country so that they are also priced sensibly.