Apple to begin iPhone SE production in India this April, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 17
Apple's first "made in India" device will be the iPhone SE, with reports on Friday claiming the tech giant plans to start production of the entry-level handset in the coming months through contract manufacturer Wistron.


Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, The Economic Times reports the company will in April begin manufacturing the lower priced iPhone at a plant in Bengaluru, targeting final output at 300,000 to 400,000 units. Apple is producing handsets within India's borders in a bid to capture a slice of the country's growing smartphone market.

Apple partner Wistron is expected to handle iPhone SE assembly at its new facility in Karnataka, a plant thought to be purpose built for the effort.

Production is set to begin before the Indian government returns a final verdict on Apple's proposed economic concessions, the report said. The company is angling for tax breaks and lower duty rates in return for bringing its manufacturing business to the country.

Though Apple has long fought for special government consideration in the region, initial iPhone SE production was apparently not contingent on the success of those talks, the report said.

"It is Apple's first such venture in India [...] The demands they have made are for the larger plans of the company to really scale up manufacturing in India," a senior government official said.

A separate report from Reuters seemingly confirms the sentiment, suggesting Apple has bigger plans for India in the long term.

The report goes on to cite its own sources as saying iPhone SE production will be "substantially lower" than the 300,000 to 400,000 unit estimates provided by The Economic Times, at least to start. Depending on the success of initial production runs, Apple might build out the Bengaluru plant to handle other iPhone models. Previous rumors intimate the company is thinking about moving part of its Chinese manufacturing force to India to save on rising labor costs.

With Indian manufacturing assets in place, Apple stands to avoid hefty import duties, thereby reducing the cost of its products within the country. The anticipated price drop could drive demand and increase Apple's exceedingly slim slice of the market.

In addition, the production facilities would help Apple meet local sourcing requirements for creating a retail and distribution network. As it stands, Apple is unable to operate brick-and-mortar Apple stores in the region, forcing the company to instead rely on authorized resellers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Well done Apple. If that is the way to get a decent foothold in an othewise very restricted market then great.

    watto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 2 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 16,556member
    Well done Apple. If that is the way to get a decent foothold in an othewise very restricted market then great.
    It's the only way. India has laws which make this the only option. I'd say more well done to India. My question is when do we see an iPhone 8 equivalent in a size physically comparable to SE? That's the phone I want. And give it the thickness of an SE too—or 1 mm thinner and 1 mm wider or whatever. In fact, for the small phone like this more square sides seem to be far more justified.
    edited February 17 watto_cobrabaconstangpscooter63argonaut
  • Reply 3 of 18
    ireland said:
     I'd say more well done to India.
    Some won't see it that way sadly.
    edited February 17
  • Reply 4 of 18
    More than anything, I see this as, to me, a very welcome confirmation of Apple's commitment to middle priced phones.

    While Apple is obviously able to compete with anybody and everybody at the high end, they have been getting killed on the lower/medial end.  While this has not come to a head because of the rapidly evolving smart phone technology, that evolution is starting to slow and smart phones, like PCs, are becoming commodities -- where price is more important than features because they all have the same basic, fundamental features.   (They all can make calls, send text messages and email and interact with the web.)

    Really!   Does it matter if a phone has an 8Mb camera or a 12Mb?   How much does force touch improve a phone?  Yes, it's nice.  But it's a nice to have, not a must have.  Its a frill.  

    Instead of competing on hardware frills, I see the future of Apple resting on its infrastructure:   The seamless, reliable, secure integration of all of its products -- products that "just work".  NO other organization can compete with Apple on those terms.   Every single one of them is condemned to fight a non-winnable battle of who has the latest and the greatest frill.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,408member
    Great news!

    India alone can add 20,000,000 new iPhone users over the next 5 years. 

    Tim Cook does it again!  What an excellent CEO he is. 

    Jobs may have been the 'innovator' but Cook is the 'deal maker'.  Cook closed the China Mobile deal, DoCoMo deal in Japan, and now India.
    watto_cobracali
  • Reply 6 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,001member
    Look at differently. If Trump makes USA-China import tax trade conflict than India is back-up for lower cost iPhone manufacturing.Takes less time to expand manufacturing capacity than build it from scratch in a time crisis. so, start iphone SE manufacturing and than if China gives hard time than move to India all of iphone manufacturing. Plus China is no different than Russia who wants to replace USA in Global trade,military, not India.
    edited February 17
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,408member
    More than anything, I see this as, to me, a very welcome confirmation of Apple's commitment to middle priced phones.

    While Apple is obviously able to compete with anybody and everybody at the high end, they have been getting killed on the lower/medial end.  While this has not come to a head because of the rapidly evolving smart phone technology, that evolution is starting to slow and smart phones, like PCs, are becoming commodities -- where price is more important than features because they all have the same basic, fundamental features.   (They all can make calls, send text messages and email and interact with the web.)

    Really!   Does it matter if a phone has an 8Mb camera or a 12Mb?   How much does force touch improve a phone?  Yes, it's nice.  But it's a nice to have, not a must have.  Its a frill.  

    Instead of competing on hardware frills, I see the future of Apple resting on its infrastructure:   The seamless, reliable, secure integration of all of its products -- products that "just work".  NO other organization can compete with Apple on those terms.   Every single one of them is condemned to fight a non-winnable battle of who has the latest and the greatest frill.
    except Apple just sold the most iPhones EVER last quarter.

    expect Apple's averaging selling price for iPhones was the HIGHEST EVER at $700 last quarter.

    So you are WRONG.  iPhones are not commodities. Not even close.  People are willing and able to buy the BEST and spend more. 

    Your meme about people being satisfied with a phone that is 'good enough' is false and has been proven false again and again.

    Do you seriously think people are willing to compromise on something they use EVERY DAY for 8-12 hours a day? Hell no. To own an iPhone only cost literally pennies more a day.


    watto_cobralkruppcalibadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 16,556member
    sog35 said:
    Great news!

    India alone can add 20,000,000 new iPhone users over the next 5 years. 

    Tim Cook does it again!  What an excellent CEO he is.
    Someone get me a bucket.
    edited February 17 anantksundaramking editor the grateronnargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 18
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,293member
    Does Indian government waive the requirement that 30% of the parts being provided by India? 
  • Reply 10 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,196member
    Well seems Apple has managed to curry flavor, err...  I mean curry favor with India.  ;)
    edited February 17 GeorgeBMaccalironnargonaut
  • Reply 11 of 18
    sog35 said:
    More than anything, I see this as, to me, a very welcome confirmation of Apple's commitment to middle priced phones.

    While Apple is obviously able to compete with anybody and everybody at the high end, they have been getting killed on the lower/medial end.  While this has not come to a head because of the rapidly evolving smart phone technology, that evolution is starting to slow and smart phones, like PCs, are becoming commodities -- where price is more important than features because they all have the same basic, fundamental features.   (They all can make calls, send text messages and email and interact with the web.)

    Really!   Does it matter if a phone has an 8Mb camera or a 12Mb?   How much does force touch improve a phone?  Yes, it's nice.  But it's a nice to have, not a must have.  Its a frill.  

    Instead of competing on hardware frills, I see the future of Apple resting on its infrastructure:   The seamless, reliable, secure integration of all of its products -- products that "just work".  NO other organization can compete with Apple on those terms.   Every single one of them is condemned to fight a non-winnable battle of who has the latest and the greatest frill.
    except Apple just sold the most iPhones EVER last quarter.

    expect Apple's averaging selling price for iPhones was the HIGHEST EVER at $700 last quarter.

    So you are WRONG.  iPhones are not commodities. Not even close.  People are willing and able to buy the BEST and spend more. 

    Your meme about people being satisfied with a phone that is 'good enough' is false and has been proven false again and again.

    Do you seriously think people are willing to compromise on something they use EVERY DAY for 8-12 hours a day? Hell no. To own an iPhone only cost literally pennies more a day.


    I said that they are becoming commodities...  The only significant improvement to the IPhone since the 6 is water resistance.  Meaningful improvements, over the coming years will become fewer and fewer -- just as they have for laptops and PCs.

    Further, I did not suggest that Apple get out of the top end, bleeding edge market.   Rather, that they expand out into the general market because that market will grow as the high end market shrinks.   Throwing out statistics about how they did last quarter is not going to change that.

    Actually, it looks like they're headed towards a high end, middle end and (for them) low end phone with the expected:  IPhone 8, 7S and SE.  Good for them.   I believe in Apple and I think that is the only smart move in a maturing market.

    Again, I am happy to see them confirm their commitment to the low end SE market.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    calicali Posts: 2,981member
    Isn't it late to start manufacturing SE? Maybe they'll announce a new SE with 6s internals. This would create the pattern of skipping a generation with every new SE. 

    Wishful thinking?

    Edit: I'm a year too early :neutral: 
    edited February 17
  • Reply 13 of 18
    MacPro said:
    Well seems Apple has managed to curry flavor, err...  I mean curry favor with India.  ;)
    Clever, but I hate to burst your bubble: the phrase "curry favor" has nothing at all to do with "curry" (or India, for that matter). Its origins are quite a bit different from what you (and most people) think it is: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/curry-favour.html
    spacerays
  • Reply 14 of 18
    SaneHumanSaneHuman Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Apple would soon come to know how bad an idea this was. I for one won't be buying apple iPhone again. For the ones saying this move would add 20000000 users in the next 5 years. India is an emerging market and yes poverty rates are high, the ones able to afford buy iPhones from other countries etc. Reality is Apple want to open apple stores and they won't be able to unless they open manufacturing plants as per indian rules and regulations. I am buying samsung from now on.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,196member
    MacPro said:
    Well seems Apple has managed to curry flavor, err...  I mean curry favor with India.  ;)
    Clever, but I hate to burst your bubble: the phrase "curry favor" has nothing at all to do with "curry" (or India, for that matter). Its origins are quite a bit different from what you (and most people) think it is: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/curry-favour.html
    What I think? OMG I know that!  It was a joke, you know a play on words!  Flavor hasn't got anything to do with Favor either for Pete's sake.  That was also a play on words, a twofer!
    edited February 18
  • Reply 16 of 18
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,026member
    More than anything, I see this as, to me, a very welcome confirmation of Apple's commitment to middle priced phones.

    While Apple is obviously able to compete with anybody and everybody at the high end, they have been getting killed on the lower/medial end.  While this has not come to a head because of the rapidly evolving smart phone technology, that evolution is starting to slow and smart phones, like PCs, are becoming commodities -- where price is more important than features because they all have the same basic, fundamental features.   (They all can make calls, send text messages and email and interact with the web.)

    Really!   Does it matter if a phone has an 8Mb camera or a 12Mb?   How much does force touch improve a phone?  Yes, it's nice.  But it's a nice to have, not a must have.  Its a frill.  

    Instead of competing on hardware frills, I see the future of Apple resting on its infrastructure:   The seamless, reliable, secure integration of all of its products -- products that "just work".  NO other organization can compete with Apple on those terms.   Every single one of them is condemned to fight a non-winnable battle of who has the latest and the greatest frill.
    Some day you ought to do some reading into how Apple has managed to grow the Mac product line relatively well over the last 20 years during the times that PC's have been commodity products.  Maybe, just maybe, they have some idea about how to do this with the iPhone as well.

    Someone can look at "any product" in a couple of ways:
    1) All anybody wants is "good enough".  If it ain't broke, don't buy a new one.  "My PC from 8 years ago is just fine for email...it is all I use it for".  "My car is 12 years old and I can keep it going.  It is all I need".
    2) This product is something that I use all the time, and to me, it is worth to have the best available.  My job is using this product, so I value any improvement.  I don't want to have to deal with issues of upkeep, so I get a new one every few years.

    Different strokes for different folks.  Despite what you think, #2 applies to a large group of people.  It is why many lease cars for 3-4 years, there is new fashion every year, and smartphone upgrade cycles are 2-3 years.

    If by "... been getting killed in the lower/medial (assume medium?) end", you mean that Android vendors outsell Apple in a segment that Apple doesn't compete in?  That shouldn't be a surprise - if you don't produce a product for a market, chances are the sales will be 0%.  Unless you can prove otherwise, my assumption is that Apple sells the most phones in the $399 and up category. Since Apple as a whole makes 90%+ of the profit in the smartphone business, that would seem to be a safe bet.

    Apple's strategy on pricing tiers seems to be about maximizing the sales at each tier, and when all of the oxygen in that tier is gone, then they try to see how they can get some purchasers in the lower segments to move up a bit if the entry is lowered a bit.  They moved from $450 being the lowest priced iPhone (the 2 year old entry model) to $399 with a "new iPhone" with the SE.  They will be gauging what the sales are, seeing what the segment overall has in sales, where they are getting them, and when they believe they have maximized it (the number of purchases from lower tiers that "move up" to pay $399), they may bring in a new entry level price - perhaps $349.  

    They could easily do this by having 16GB be the entry model, with the $100 upgrade to higher storage, or other such up-sell incentives.  The lower entry price will entice more to take a look, but between the up-sells, and continuing to offer super-high-end models, the overall iPhone ASP's don't get hit, or too badly.  With this approach, Apple is able to slowly grow the iPhone base lower, while maximizing the higher ends.  There is no radical change in strategy - no need to say "hey, guess we have hit the high end max sales, so lets start to cut prices and try to gain some more share...".  

    I am pretty confident in saying that Apple never has, and never will, go after pure market share and battle it out at the low end of the market.  Apple is quite content it seems to target the top 20% of each market they are in (computing, smartphones, smart watches, headphones, future wearables...).  They make 80%+ of the profit while shipping only 20% or less of the units.  
    edited February 18
  • Reply 17 of 18
    SaneHuman said:
    Apple would soon come to know how bad an idea this was. I for one won't be buying apple iPhone again. For the ones saying this move would add 20000000 users in the next 5 years. India is an emerging market and yes poverty rates are high, the ones able to afford buy iPhones from other countries etc. Reality is Apple want to open apple stores and they won't be able to unless they open manufacturing plants as per indian rules and regulations. I am buying samsung from now on.
    Lol, are you serious? This is such an emotional outcome you state. 
    Were you buying an iPhone until now?
    You would be 'buying samsung' because Apple wants to manufacture in India?
    If so, will you be 'buying <something else>' if Samsung does something similar?
    edited February 19
  • Reply 18 of 18
    SaneHuman said:
    Apple would soon come to know how bad an idea this was. I for one won't be buying apple iPhone again. For the ones saying this move would add 20000000 users in the next 5 years. India is an emerging market and yes poverty rates are high, the ones able to afford buy iPhones from other countries etc. Reality is Apple want to open apple stores and they won't be able to unless they open manufacturing plants as per indian rules and regulations. I am buying samsung from now on.

    For some reason there is no correlation between your profile name and you post.
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