Apple to soon start making iPhone 6s in India – but which model?
14 April 2018
Apple has begun trial production of iPhone 6s Plus — one of its highest selling models in India — at the Bengaluru facility of its contract manufacturer Wistron, which may lead to a lowering of its price, according to The Economic Times citing sources.
But according to International Business Times India, the model which the company is planning to roll out from the Bengaluru plant is the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and not the iPhone 6s Plus. The manufacturing of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s would begin in a month or two in the plant, according to IBTimes’ sources.
Wistron has set up a new assembly line for iPhone 6s Plus production, and commercial production is expected to start in next couple of weeks, according to the ET report. 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.
Emails sent by ET to Apple India and Wistron did not elicit any response as of \Thursday.
The Indian government has steadily raised the customs duty on imported mobile phones from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. The prices of all the iPhone variants, except the iPhone SE, increased three times in the last six months.
In April, the finance ministry, as part of its 'make in India' initiative and to encourage local components sourcing, increased the taxes on camera modules, connectors and PCBs (printed circuit boards), a major part of the mobile, which houses the processor, RAM, storage and more. These components are usually shipped in from China and used in assembling the devices in the domestic factory units.
So even if Apple assembles iPhones in India, the customs duty on imported components will keep the expenses high, according to IBTimes. Even for the locally made iPhone SE, the making cost has increased for the company. But Apple has not hiked the model's price yet.
Now Apple's immediate strategy is to scout for good local companies for sourcing components and assemble more models in addition to the iPhone SE in India.