Business

Apple to manufacture cheaper iPhones in India

MUMBAI Apple will start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer's plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, industry sources said.

Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron Corp is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus on assembling iPhones.

Apple's move comes as it seeks to boost its share in the world's fastest growing major mobile market, where handsets far cheaper than Apple's iPhones dominate. It also comes as smartphone sales growth is slowing in Asia's other massive market, China.

The Economic Times newspaper reported earlier yesterday that Apple planned to initially assemble 300,000 to 400,000 iPhone SE handsets in India but Reuters' source said the number would be substantially lower.

It was also too early to say what other models the Bengaluru plant would assemble.

Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones to India last year, said market researcher Counterpoint.

In the fourth quarter, Apple was 10th in India's smartphone market but had a 62 per cent share in the premium segment.

Samsung and a host of Chinese players including Xiaomi and Vivo dominate India's smartphone market, where most phones sold are priced below 15,000 rupees (S$315), half the price of the entry-level iPhone SE model. - REUTERS

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