Apple will begin making top-end iPhone models in India through the country's local Foxconn beginning in 2019, according to Reuters.
The move will be a first for Foxconn, which has never produced top-end iPhones in the country.
Apple Makes A Move In India
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that Foxconn will be assembling the most expensive models, including devices in the iPhone X family. The move is a crucial development in Apple's business, especially since it has the potential to steer the Cupertino brand's efforts to grow further in India.
Foxconn will be assembling the iPhones at its plant in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, reports Reuters. The manufacturer is expected to invest as much as INR 25 billion or about $356 million to expand its plant, including investment in iPhone production. There may be as many as 25,000 jobs as a result of this huge investment, according to M C Sampath, Industries minister of Tamil Nadu.
iPhone Production In India
To be clear, the Cupertino brand has been making iPhones in India for sometime now, but only lower-cost models such as the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S. More importantly, the assembly is handled via a local Wistron Corp unit in the Bengaluru technology hub.
iPhone sales in India have been focused mainly on lower-end models, it's worth noting. In fact, more than half of Apple's sales volume is driven by iPhone models older than the iPhone 8, which was launched in 2017, says Counterpoint, a technology research firm.
There's a possibility for Apple to restart iPhone X production. iPhone X launched alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last year, and it signified the most radical change in the history of iPhone, with an entirely new design and a sophisticated facial recognition technology called Face ID, among other features. Apple halted production of the iPhone X the minute it began selling its successors, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
However, Apple could get Foxconn to produce iPhone X units again, in India at least. Apple could even sell the device lower than launch price, as it usually does in the country, in an attempt to capture a huge share of India's smartphone market.
Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more about Apple and Foxconn's plans for iPhone production in India.