Apple reportedly to start assembling iPhone SE at the Bangalore plant

By : |February 17, 2017 0

In a bid to grab a larger slice of the Indian smartphone cake, Apple is reportedly planning to assemble 3-4 lakh units of its iPhone SE model at the Bangalore plant owned by contract manufacturer Wistron.

According to Economic Times report, Apple is “likely to go ahead with the Bangalore assembly plan without waiting for the government’s nod for the list of tax concessions that it had sought along with other demands.”

As mentioned in our earlier report, Apple was seeking permits to manufacture in India, which includes a 15-year exemption from customs duty, assurance on continuing countervailing duty exemptions on electronic components for the same period, besides clarity in policy for selling refurbished goods here. The company has also sought additional benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS).

A Wistron spokesperson said, the company is ready to start assembling the phones.

A senior government official told ET, the company wants to “experience manufacturing in India. It is Apple’s first such venture in India…The demands they have made are for the larger plans of the company to really scale up manufacturing in India.“

One of the biggest obstacles Apple has been facing in India is the high price of iPhones, which generally starts at Rs 50,000. However, in India, 70-80 percent of the devices are sold under Rs 10,000. The report says, “Starting local assembly and scaling it up to full manufacturing will help the company price its products competitively and corner a bigger portion of the market where nearly 700 million mobile phone users still use feature phones.”

Navkendar Singh, senior research manager, client devices, at IDC India, said, “While the immediate advantage would be the tax benefit of 10-12 percent if it is manufactured here compared with imports, it will also give Apple an edge in India, which is the fastest-growing large market, as opposed to slow growth in China.”

Industry analysts are expecting the company to produce its iPhone 5S in India in a couple of quarters.

Apple and Wistron are yet to comment on the latest report.

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