Not too long ago, we had written about the plans for assembly of iPhone X in India by the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Foxconn. Now, the time has come, and high-end iPhone models will get the ‘Made in India’ stamp starting July.
A source close to the manufacturer said, “Foxconn will begin the commercial production of iPhone X (series) from the Chennai plant. The plans are to step up production capacity and diversify to even higher models going forward.”
Of course, continued manufacturing will depend on many things, one of which will be favourable incentive regime despite changes of government. Political inclinations and opinions aside, changes in the government, if at all, could play a role in the future of iPhone manufacturing in India. However, both Apple and Foxconn have kept mum on the matter.
Is this Good News?
According to sources, before the full-scale assembly begins, a trial run of the models (iPhone X and XS) will take place. If there are no hiccups and all goes well, India will add the assembly of two more models to her hat.
Apple first started manufacturing iPhone models in India through Wistron, another Taiwan-based manufacturing company. Based on the outskirts of Bengaluru, the factory assembled the model, iPhone SE and later, iPhone 6s model. Currently, the manufacturing company makes iPhone 7.
But there’s no fun in staying local, so Foxconn’s Indian assembly line will go international and manufacture smartphones for the export markets.
Let’s Talk Numbers
Don’t ask me how to do math (no, I don’t suck at it, I just don’t like it), but we can talk numbers without the calculation. First off, it’s a little bit of a disappointment, so brace yourselves, please. According to reports, Apple shipped 1.7 million smartphones to India last year. Big number? Nyet! The total number of shipments made was 140 million. And that means Apple’s share of shipments was just a teeny-tiny 1 per cent. Ouch!
But the good news is that local production of its premium devices would cut down the import duty of 20 per cent. And what does that mean, you ask? Let me answer. Apple would meet the criteria of having 30 per cent local sourcing. And that, my friends, would mean that the company could open its very own chain of retail stores throughout the country. And that’s not the end of good news, trust me.
If the gods look upon us favourably, Foxconn will increase the production investment from $300 million as the capacity increases. And with that, we should receive some respite, right?
What About the Price Tag?
Unlike the downer that iPhone 7 manufacturing in India brought zero price cut, things with this one might just be different – in a good way. With the local manufacturing of iPhone X in India, it is likely that there will be a significant reduction in prices. And we can thank the lack of import duties for this news. Also, if Apple does own its chain of retail stores in the country, they could bring initiatives like “Today at Apple”. And who doesn’t want creative sessions by Apple professionals?
Let’s hope this piece of news brings us some sunshine because we can’t sell our kidneys every time we want to own an iPhone. We only have one to spare, after all.