Apple has started assembling the iPhone 13 in India. Cupertino’s newest iPhone is being made in India by its manufacturing partner Foxconn at its plant in southern Tamil Nadu state. Foxconn also makes the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 in India. Local assembly should help Apple save on import duties and have tighter control over supplies while expediting market availability of the iPhone in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.
The move to make the iPhone 13 locally is in direct response to the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that has given fresh impetus to domestic manufacturing (and assembly) of smartphones in the country. There is also the whole Sino-US angle. With the looming unrest around China, it is not surprising to see Apple, a US company, pushing to move more and more manufacturing outside of China.
“We are excited to begin making iPhone 13 — with its beautiful design, advanced camera systems for stunning photos and videos, and the incredible performance of the A15 Bionic chip — right here in India for our local customers,” Apple told Financial Express Online.
It is not immediately clear (by) when the made in India iPhone 13 stock will hit the market, but it should possibly be soon now that assembly operations have begun. Apple had started trial production in December last year.
The iPhone 13 starts at Rs 79,900 for a version with 128GB storage going all the way to Rs 1,09,900 for the top-end model with 512GB storage. The 256GB version of the iPhone 13 costs Rs 89,900. Making the iPhone 13 locally will help Apple save over 20% on import duty but whether it will also lead to price relaxations for customers is something that only time will tell.
Apple is currently in the midst of its biggest India push with CEO Tim Cook being quite vocal about India as a key market for the company’s growth. Despite being the world’s most valuable company, it has struggled to get a toehold in the 1.3 billion-strong India market. It is showing signs of progress, though.
The Cupertino tech giant recorded sales of 2.3 million units in Q4 2021, 34% higher than a year earlier, as per data released by Counterpoint Research, spearheaded by a renewed strategy that includes opening an India online store, streamlining discounts, and plans to open company-owned retail outlets in multiple cities in the next few quarters.
More and more new iPhones being gradually added to the make in India list further cements the company’s growing interest in the world’s second largest smartphone market. The world’s second largest iPhone manufacturer, Pegatron, will soon start local assembly of the iPhone 12 as well, ramping up production further.
Apple started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 with the first generation iPhone SE.