Apple to start manufacturing iPhone 6s Plus in India
Apple has started the trial production of the iPhone 6s Plus at the Bengaluru plant of its contract manufacturer, Wistron. The commercial manufacturing may begin in a couple of weeks, according to reports. The move comes as Apple reacts to higher Indian customs duties on imports, it plans to bring down costs of its highest selling smartphone in India. Here are the details.
Why the iPhone 6 series matters to Apple?
According to Counterpoint, the iPhone 6 series accounted for 30% of the total iPhone sales in India in 2017 as against less than 15% generated from iPhone SE - the only Apple smartphone to be locally assembled in the Wistron factory till now.
Apple aims to reduce cost to compete against OnePlus, Samsung
Wistron - Apple's manufacturing partner in India - has set up a new assembly line for the iPhone 6s Plus production. According to industry executives, locally produced iPhone 6s Plus will see a 5-7% price cut. This will help Apple compete against the likes of OnePlus and Samsung which manufacture their phones locally and were, therefore, insulated from the recent increase in import duty.
Indian government's continued push for 'Make in India'
Indian government has increased the basic custom duty on smartphones from 10% to 15% in December and again to 20% in February. Earlier this month, the government levied a 10% custom duty on key smartphone components like PCBs. These economic policies have resulted in increased smartphone prices and, in turn, acted as a catalyst for companies like Xiaomi and Apple to manufacture locally.
Apple also expands its local sourcing initiative in India
Apple has expanded its local sourcing initiative to two more partners and now has five manufacturing partners in India as compared to one in early 2017. The iPhone maker has partnered with Finland-based Salcomp's facility in Tamil Nadu for manufacturing of chargers and adapters for iPhones. It has also joined hands with China-based Shenzhen YUTO Packaging Technology plant in Bengaluru for manufacturing packaging products.