December 1, 2020

Your next iPhone might be made in India

Following the iPhone 7, XR, and SE, the iPhone 11 is the fourth Apple smartphone to be manufactured in India.

iPhone 11 on a table

  • Apple begins manufacturing the iPhone 11 in India.
  • The company has tied up with Foxconn to assemble the phone.
  • The move should help Apple avoid the 20% import duties imposed by India on smartphones.

Between strained trade relations between the US and China, and Apple’s plans to stake out a larger share in India’s smartphone market, the company has started manufacturing the iPhone 11 in India in collaboration with Foxconn. The move allows it to circumvent the 20 percent import duty imposed by India on smartphones.

The news was confirmed on Twitter by India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, and follows an earlier announcement that Apple had partnered with Foxconn to manufacture the iPhone XR in India. Meanwhile, Wistron manufactures the iPhone 7 in the country, as part of a low-cost offering. The locally manufactured iPhone 11s are already available in stores.

As part of the “Make in India� local-manufacturing initiative and related schemes, the Indian government has announced a range of benefits including tax breaks for companies willing to invest in setting up production facilities locally. Assembling the iPhone 11 in India signals a broader commitment from Apple to the Indian smartphone market and the growing premium segment. However, it is obvious that financial incentives inevitably had a role to play a role in the shift to local manufacturing and assembly.

What does it mean for buyers?

Apple plans to ramp up its production capacity gradually and exporting iPhones made in India is also on the cards. Additionally, there are talks that Wistron will soon start manufacturing the iPhone SE in the country. The contract manufacturer previously manufactured the last-gen iPhone SE in India.

Premium smartphone shipments are a minuscule share of the overall smartphone market in India, but Apple enjoys the lead here. The iPhone 11 is one of the fastest-selling Apple smartphones in the country and if the company decides to pass on the tax benefits to consumers, the phone might provide some much-needed competition to Android alternatives.