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Friday, July 12, 2019
Top-end iPhones may get cheaper next month. Here’s why
Apple’s ‘Made in India’ top-end iPhones are reportedly going to hit the market by August. The move is expected to help Apple further reduce prices of its iPhones in India.
Apple’s India-made top-end iPhones to hit stores next month: Report (REUTERS)
Apple Inc’s top-end iPhones, assembled in
India by Foxconn’s local unit, are likely to hit Indian stores next month, a
source said, potentially helping the tech giant drop prices in the world’s
second-biggest smartphone market.
Some approvals are pending, but the India-made
iPhone XR and XS devices are expected to hit the market by August, the source
said, asking not to be named as the matter is not public.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request
for comment. Foxconn said it does not comment on customers or their products.
Expanding local assembly will help Apple save
on high taxes levied on the import of fully-built devices, as well as meet
local sourcing norms for opening its own retail stores in India.
Apple’s devices are coveted by millions of
Indians, but its premium pricing has limited its market share to a meagre 1
percent to the gain of rivals such as China’s OnePlus.
Reuters had previously reported that the local
unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, widely known as Foxconn, would this year
begin assembling iPhone X family devices in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state.
Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple also
assembles the lower-cost SE, 6S and 7 models in India through Wistron Corp’s
local unit in the tech hub of Bengaluru.
“Local production will give Apple the leeway
to play with the margins of their distributors and indirectly price their
phones lower,” said Rushabh Doshi, a research director at tech consultancy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has
tried to position South Asia’s third-biggest economy as a hub for smartphone
manufacturing, wooing global players with access to a market with over a
billion wireless connections and cheap labour.
That push has met with some success as global
smartphone giants including Samsung and China’s Oppo have expanded rapidly in
India, and contract manufacturers like Foxconn have ramped up domestic
Beyond fulfilling local demand, companies such
as Apple could also use India as an export hub to soften the impact of a
bruising trade war between the United States and China, according to technology
Apple cut its fiscal first quarter sales forecast,
blaming slowing iPhone sales in China where uncertainty around US-China trade
relations has hurt the economy. Some of the Wistron assembled iPhone 6s and 7
are being exported from India to markets in Europe, Neil Shah of Hong-King
based tech researcher Counterpoint said.