Apple has begun manufacturing the iPhone 7 in India, making it the third model being manufactured locally in the country. The iPhone 7 joins the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S, which are also being assembled locally by the Cupertino-based iPhone maker. The move widens Apple’s locally manufactured product portfolio, and shows company’s intention to focus on strengthening its local manufacturing ecosystem as it struggles to settle iPhone in the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.
“We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers, furthering our long-term commitment in India,” Apple said in a press statement. Wistron, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, which makes the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S, at its assembly unit on the outskirts of Bengaluru, will build the iPhone 7 as well. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker also confirmed that Wistron has been making the iPhone 7 locally in India since the beginning of March. While Apple will get duty concessions for making the device locally in India, the company is not expected to offer any price cut on the smartphone.
Apple’s decision to start assembling the iPhone 7 locally in India could have been made after Wistron got government nod for its Rs 5,000 crore proposal to expand manufacturing capabilities. The contract manufacturer has reportedly proposed to make high-end iPhone models locally in India, but it seems the company is just getting started with its local plans. The cost of manufacturing iPhone 7 in India should be lower than importing the device from China. Apple is also said to be in discussion with Foxconn, which already has a factory in Chennai, for local production of iPhones in India.
The iPhone maker has been struggling in India due to popularity of cheaper Android phones and lack of infrastructure to sell carrier-subsidized smartphones. Apple, according to analysts, has a market share of less than one percent in the Indian smartphone market, and has lost out to the likes of Samsung and OnePlus in the premium segment. In order to win some market share, Apple started local assembly of iPhone SE in India and with iPhone 7, it could have another device that might appeal to Indian consumers despite being two generation old.
Watch: Apple iPad Pro 2018 Hands On
Apple iPhone 7 with 32GB and 128GB storage currently retails for Rs 39,900 and Rs 49,900 respectively. It features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and is powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset. It sports a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel FaceTime selfie camera. There is Touch ID for biometric authentication and it runs iOS 12. The smartphone is IP67 water and dust resistant and comes in rose gold, gold, silver and black finish.