Apple is all set to roll out its iconic iPhone with a “Made in India” tag after its original equipment manufacturer, Wistron Corp, confirmed it is making the iPhone SE from its plant in Bangalore.
Taiwan-based Wistron recently conducted a trial run at the factory and the phones manufactured during the process are expected to be in stores in a few weeks, according to Business Standard. “We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SEs (the cheapest model of iPhone) in Bengaluru. We’ll begin shipping to domestic customers this month,” Apple sources told the daily.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visited India last May and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They reportedly discussed manufacturing of iPhones in India for the local market and export. Though the government did not agree to any tax incentives, Apple still went ahead with its plans as the fast growing Indian mobile phone market was too attractive to be missed.
With a dip in iPhone sales in developed markets such as the US and China, India is now a major focus for Apple. Moreover, with devices being assembled locally, Apple will be able to save on taxes and analysts expect a dip in prices.
India’s appetite for expensive devices remains small and the market is dominated by mid-level devices, with Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Lenovo and South Korean Samsung dominating this segment.
According to data from the International Data Corporation, the cumulative market share of China-based vendors in India touched 51.4% in March, up from 21.2% a year ago, a jump of 143%. Xiaomi and Lenovo cashed in on online sales, while Vivo and Oppo grew through retail stores. Samsung improved its market share to 28.1% from 26.6% last year and continues to be the largest selling brand.