Apple to launch high-end iPhones assembled in India next month

Apple may launch its high-end iPhones — assembled in India by Foxconn’s local unit – in Indian stores next month, Reuters reported.
Apple iPhone in JapanApple at present does not feature in the top five-list for smartphone makers in India, the second largest smartphone market in the world. Apple will be in a position to drop price of iPhones and capture more share.

The report said some approvals are pending, but the India-made iPhone XR and XS devices are expected to hit the market by August.

Amazon is selling the 64-GB model of iPhone XR for Rs 59,900 and the 128-GB model for Rs 64,900 in India.

The retail price of iPhone XS – the 64-GB model – on Amazon is Rs 97,400 and the 128-GB model will cost Rs 114,890.

The report said the expansion of assembly will help Apple, the second largest smartphone maker in the world, 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.

Reuters previously reported the India manufacturing unit of Foxconn would this year begin assembling iPhone X devices in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state.

Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple also assembles the lower-cost SE, 6S and 7 models of iPhone in India through Wistron’s local unit in Bengaluru.

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.

“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 Canalys.

Apple cut its fiscal first quarter sales forecast, blaming slowing iPhone sales in China where uncertainty around U.S.-China trade relations has hurt the economy.