Apple starts manufacturing iPhone 6S in India
Apple has started manufacturing iPhone 6S units in India to lower costs of its highest selling smartphone in the country, both for the company and eventually for the users. With this, Apple hopes to avoid getting affected by the constant increase in import duties as well. The move will help Apple better compete against OnePlus and Samsung which already manufacture their phones locally.
Apple reacts to higher Indian customs duties on imports
The Indian government increased the basic customs duty on smartphones from 10% to 15% in December and again to 20% in February. The government has also levied a 10% customs duty on key smartphone components. These economic policies resulted in increased smartphone prices and, in turn, acted as a catalyst for companies like Xiaomi and Apple to manufacture locally.
The iPhone is being produced in Bengaluru
Apple has started the production of the phone at the Bengaluru plant of its manufacturing partner Wistron. However, it will be some before the device is commercially manufactured at a speed meeting demands, so for now, Apple will continue to import the iPhone 6S and not offer any price cuts on the same. Eventually, the locally-produced iPhone should reportedly see a 5-7% price cut.
Why the iPhone 6 series matters to Apple?
According to Counterpoint, the iPhone 6 series accounted for 33% of the total iPhone sales in India in 2017 as opposed to less than 15% generated from the iPhone SE, the only other Apple smartphone to be locally manufactured by Wistron.
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.