Apple’s first ‘Made in India’ iPhone could become available in India as early as next week as the first units have already been manufactured locally. Indianexpress.com has learnt that this is a trial run and the manufacturing was done in limited quantities. These phones will be sold only in India, maybe just in Karnataka where it is manufactured.
Earlier in the day, a Wall Street Journal report said Karnataka state officials have confirmed that Apple’s manufacturer Wistron Corp has started making the iPhone SE in India.
“We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru. iPhone SE is the most popular and powerful phone with a four-inch display in the world and we’ll begin shipping to domestic customers this month,” an Apple spokesperson confirmed to indianexpress.com.
It was earlier reported by The Indian Express that Apple planned to start manufacturing in the country with the iPhone SE. In January 2017, The Indian Express had reported that in an inter-ministerial committee meeting on whether iPhone kits and consumables should be made duty free, Apple had indicated it wanted to assemble the iPhone SE first in India.
The big question now is whether Apple will have a lower price point for this phone in India as it will not face the regular import duty imposed on smartphones wholly manufactured outside the country. The WSJ report adds that this particular iPhone SE could cost nearly $100 lower than the current models. However, this could not be confirmed.
In February, the government of Karnataka had issued a press release confirming Apple’s plans of initial manufacturing operations in the state. In January, Wistron Corp, one of Apple’s manufacturing partners applied for permission to expand its plant in Bengaluru. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer had also requested its application be fast-tracked.
Apple iPhone SE is currently priced at Rs 27,200 for the 32GB version, and Rs 37,200 for the 128GB version.