Apple appears likely to localise more of its mobile phone production as it reacts to higher Indian customs duties on imports, with the popular iPhone 6s Plus probably the first model off the assembly line.
Xiaomi also announced earlier this week that it would be setting up three new plants in India in a bid to keep its products competitive.
Trial production of iPhone 6s Plus — one of Apple’s highest selling models in India — has started at the Bengaluru plant of contract manufacturer Wistron and commercial manufacturing may begin in a couple of weeks, reports Economic Times.
It is expected that retail prices of the iPhone 6s Plus will fall by 5-7% once output is shifted to India, rubbing out the higher customs duty. This will make the phone competitive with the Chinese-produced One Plus, and some high-end models of South Korea’s Samsung.
Google is also considering releasing a mid-range smartphone especially designed for markets such as India, according to executives of California-based Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Apple has been assembling the iPhone SE in India since May last year and is currently in talks with its component vendors and contract manufacturers such as Flex, Foxconn and Wistron to expand local sourcing of inputs, the Economic Times added.
Finland-based Salcomp’s facility in Tamil Nadu now manufacturers chargers and adapters for iPhones, while China-based Shenzhen YUTO Packaging Technology’s plant in Bengaluru supplies packaging products for the phones.