KOLKATA: Apple has started making its flagship iPhone 11 at the Foxconn plant near Chennai, the first time it’s manufactured a top-of-the-line model in the country, marking a boost for the government’s Make in India initiative.
Production will be stepped up in phases and Apple may consider exporting the India-made iPhone 11, reducing its dependence on China, two senior industry executives said.
The company hasn’t cut prices as it also sells iPhone 11 handsets made in China in India but industry executives said that could be an option later on. Local production saves Apple 22% import duty.
Apple is said to be considering a plan to make the new iPhone SE at the Wistron plant near Bengaluru, the executives said. The unit used to produce the earlier iPhone SE, which was been withdrawn.
The latest move marks the growing localisation of Apple’s manufacturing in the country, where it’s keen to take advantage of benefits under the government’s production linked incentive (PLI) scheme. The move also helps expand Apple’s production base beyond China at a time when Sino-US ties have soured, an executive said.
Apple India didn’t respond to queries.
ET had earlier reported that Apple plans to expand manufacturing in India. Another of its contract manufacturers, Pegatron, recently registered a subsidiary in the country.
Of the three new models Apple launched in September, the iPhone 11 is the biggest seller in India. Supplies of the locally made device have already reached stores, said the people cited above. Apple makes two other handset models in the country — the iPhone XR at the Foxconn plant and the iPhone 7 at the Wistron factory.