Apple’s Make in India journey may be about to hit its next milestone with the manufacturing of the iPhone 6S in India. The company has so far focused on the iPhone SE and its success could now lead to more models getting produced in the country.
This comes from a Reuters report which discusses Apple supplier Wistron’s negotiations with the Karnataka government. It’s apparently close to finalizing a deal to get around 100 acres of land in Bengaluru where it’s currently assembling the iPhone SE. Two officials claim that it’s looking to invest $157 million to develop the site.
Apple is apparently eager to start assembling the iPhone 6S in India as it wants to reduce expenditure and diversify its production base beyond the confines of China. Most of its handsets are manufactured there, but escalating labor costs have made things a bit more expensive lately.
Wistron recently got approval to import machinery from China into India, probably to set up new assembly lines. As for why the 2015-era iPhone 6S is being chosen and not a more recent model, it appears the device is still very popular in emerging markets like India where it’s significantly cheaper to buy at mid-range rates.
Making iPhones in India should ultimately be beneficial for consumers as well. It’ll allow Apple to avoid import taxes, slap cheaper price tags on its smartphones, and grow its customer base beyond the 3% market share it has right now.
Case in point – the iPhone SE was the only handset which didn’t have its cost hiked after India raised import taxes on electronic items. Apple’s still in the midst of trying to wheedle a deal with the Indian government to grant it special incentives, but the administration has not budged on this at all.