Apple to start manufacturing of latest iPhone, cuts price in India

Foxconn Technology Group is set to begin trial production of the latest Apple iPhones in India, Bloomberg reported.
Phone production facility in China
The trial run of the iPhone X range of devices will come before Foxconn starts full-scale assembly at its phone making factory outside Chennai.

Wistron already produces older models, such as the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7, at a smartphone manufacturing plant in Bangalore.

Production of iPhone in India would help the US-based company avoid import duties of 20 percent and also meet the 30 percent local sourcing rule. This will allow it to open its own stores in the country.

“Apple has not capitalised on the ground potential — India will cross half-billion smartphone users this year,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, said.

Apple shipped about 150,000 devices in the first two months of 2019 in India. Apple is likely to see 50 percent drop in the March quarter of 2019 from the year earlier, according to Neil Shah.

Foxconn has two smartphone assembly sites in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where it makes devices for Xiaomi and Nokia. Locating more production in India would also help diversify Apple and Foxconn’s manufacturing footprint away from China, amid ongoing trade tensions with the US.

Slashes iPhone prices

Apple has cut prices of one of its latest iPhones in India by around one-fourth, Reuters reported.

Apple has reduced the price of the 64 GB iPhone XR by at least Rs 17,900.

On Apple’s India website, the price of the 64 GB iPhone XR was unchanged at Rs 76,900, but is on sale for less than Rs 59,000 at stores.

Prices for the two other XR variants have also dropped. The XR is the cheapest series among iPhones Apple launched last year. The change in pricing of the iPhone XR is a short-term promotional offer.

The price reduction comes after iPhone prices were lowered in China for the second time this year, as Apple wrestles with a prolonged sales slowdown in the world’s largest smartphone market partly due to a slowing economy.

“The focus of the price cut exercise is to win customers who would have thought of going to Samsung or OnePlus, to make them think whether they can spend some extra money on an iPhone XR – it’s more bang for the buck,” said Rushabh Doshi of research firm Canalys. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S10e is priced at Rs 55,900 while the OnePlus 6T starts at Rs 37,999.

Apple has just 1 percent of India’s entire smartphone market. Apple’s share of India’s $400-plus smartphone segment stood at 23 percent in 2018, behind both Samsung and OnePlus, showed data from research firm Counterpoint.