Apple will kick off its India manufacturing plans by initially assembling 3-4 lakh units of its iPhone SE model at the Karnataka plant being set up by contract manufacturer Wistron, as the maker of the iconic iPhones looks to take a deeper bite of a key market amid slowing global smartphone growth.
The Cupertino-based tech giant is likely to go ahead with the Bengaluru assembly plan without waiting for the government’s nod for the list of tax concessions that it had sought along with other demands. The company wants to “experience manufacturing in India”, a person familiar with the company’s plans told ET.
The iPhone SE, launched amidst much fanfare in April 2016, was widely anticipated to be aimed at emerging markets, including India, as it was priced lower than all other iPhone models. But even the lower price tag of Rs 39,000 for a basic model of SE was too much for the mass market.
The handset is currently retailing at less than Rs 30,000 in India and would become cheaper still if produced here.
Makes sense. Start with the SE, get a sense of response, tweak follow-on models aimed to grow that market.