Apple's first 'Make in India' smartphone will be the 4-inch iPhone SE. The company plans to assemble 3-4 lakh units of the device at contract phone manufacturer Wistron's upcoming Bengaluru facility.
According to the Economic Times, the Cupertino, California based smartphone giant will proceed with assembling the iPhone SE without waiting for any of the tax breaks and concessions that it has requested the Indian government for. Earlier, the Karnataka government had stated that Apple was looking to start producing smartphones by April 2017.
"It is Apple's first such venture in India... The demands they have made are for larger plans of the company to really scale up manufacturing in India," a senior government official told ET, requesting anonymity.
Selling for ₹28,000-30,000 on e-commerce portals, the iPhone SE is among the smaller and cheaper devices in Apple's stable and the company is likely to observe how fast they sell as a way to test waters in the Indian market. Locally assembled models will bring down the phone's price considerably. Smartphones such as OnePlus 3 and Moto Z Play, which are priced in the same range, did extremely well in the Indian market last year.
While Apple was in the second spot in terms of revenues in the Indian smartphone market, at 2.5 million units sold in 2016, the volume of India sales is still unremarkable considering that 207 million iPhones were shipped globally during this period.
At Apple's last earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that India is important for Apple's plans and that it will invest here significantly.