A report by the Economic Times, which cites two senior industry executives, claims that Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron has begun a trial production run of the iPhone 6s Plus model at its Bengaluru facility in India. According to its sources, a locally produced iPhone 6s Plus can bring down prices by 5-7 per cent, making it competitive with the Chinese OnePlus smartphones and some premium models of Samsung, which were insulated from the rise in customs duty since they are all locally produced.
Recent Counterpoint research revealed that the iPhone 6 series contributes to nearly one-third of total sales of iPhones in India in 2017, as compared to less than 15 percent generated from iPhone SE, the only Apple smartphone model to be locally assembled in the Wistron plant till now.
Apple has seen some success, however, by selling its oldest and/or lowest-priced phones in India.
Apple shares are up 0.4% to $174.87.
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The only Apple smartphone which escaped this increase was the iPhone SE.
The report adds that earlier this month, the government imposed a 10 per cent custom duty on components like printed circuit boards populated with memory and chips, camera modules and connectors. "Eventually, as the local capacity gains scale the prices will get corrected". Apple's goal is to meet government requirements necessary to reduce the price of iPhones within India. Meanwhile, Apple has joined their hands with the local partners in India, including chargers, adapters and box packaging.
A customer tries out an iPhone 6s Plus and an iPhone 6s at an Apple Store. After a number of price cuts, its now sub-Rs 20,000 price has made an extremely affordable iPhone in the country. However, the iPhone SE remained unaffected as it was manufactured in India since a year ago.
Now Apple plans to start manufacturing another iPhone in India with the help of Wistron, according to a new report.