Last year in December, Apple was in talks with the Government of India to manufacture phones in India. Considering the expensive price tag of iPhones, it made sense for Apple to start local manufacturing to improve the sales figures.
A couple of months back, Apple decided to assemble iPhones in India, starting with the cheaper iPhone SE. The facility of Taiwan’s Wistron Corp. in Bengaluru was expected to be churning out iPhone handsets by April 2017.
However, according to reports, Apple may be starting manufacturing iPhones in India altogether, in the next 2-3 months. This comes at a time iPhone is struggling with iPhone 7 sales in India, purely because of the hefty prices and after sales.
iPhone 6 and 6S will be the first models to be manufactured in India, in the coming four to six weeks, followed by iPhone SE in the next three months. Apple has only 5% share in the Indian market, and reducing the prices by local manufacturing can help it boost its presence.
A person from Wistron said, “We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with the government about further expanding our local operations.” Both Apple and Wistron haven’t yet come out in the open to talk about their plans to manufacture in India.
Possible challenges Apple will face
Manufacturing in India is going to be a task for Apple if it does not comply with the local sourcing norms. As a lot of companies partner with Foxconn to manufacture their smartphones in India, Apple has chosen Wistron, which is specific to iPhones.
However, if Apple was to source 30% of the parts from India itself, then it could marginally bring down the prices of the iPhones, by at least 15%. The company is also a little speculative of the quality of phones manufactured in India because the manufacturing prowess of China is far superior and inexpensive.
This will create more jobs in India, and also lower the prices of iPhones, but not everything will be as smooth as expected. Domestic suppliers may get a boost from this move, and in the future, Apple may think about increasing the production capacity to supply phones in Asia Pacific.
It would be great to see the American tech giant making a splash in the Indian market because it will give other manufacturers confidence to start their production lines in India. Hopefully, Apple will move the manufacturing to its range of iPads, iPods and Macbooks.