Apple again rumored to manufacture iPhone in India

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
As Apple looks to break into India's burgeoning smartphone market, a report on Tuesday claims the company is in talks with Foxconn to potentially manufacture iPhone in the region.




Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, The Economic Times reports the company is discussing the possibility of manufacturing a quantity of iPhone models at Foxconn's Indian facilities. While an exact timeline for the production shift has yet to be fleshed out, the report estimates the change might come in the next two to three years.

"There's definitely interest," said an unnamed source. "When Tim Cook was here, the government raised the issue of making in India. It is after that that Apple started thinking of doing something in India which is long term."

The report jibes with rumors earlier this year suggesting Foxconn plans to build a plant in India exclusively for Apple products.

Cheaper prices for locals, a faster time to market and another production hub are among the benefits of manufacturing in India. It might also give Apple an in to opening retail stores in the region.

The company has for years sought government approval to operate branded stores in India, but is continually stymied by foreign direct investment trade policies. India trade laws require single-brand stores to source at least 30 percent of goods from domestic suppliers, meaning Apple would have to be granted an exemption -- it was not -- or start producing its products in the region. There have been numerous reports indicating members of the Indian government, including the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are willing to work with Apple on a potential resolution, but an official agreement has yet to be announced.

In August, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman led a charge to reevaluate Apple's application for exemption, prompting the finance ministry to reportedly ratify a proposal that would allow single-brand retailers to operate brick-and-mortar stores as long as they are considered a provider of cutting-edge technology.

Perhaps looking to deliver evidence that Apple's presence would add value to the region, CEO Tim Cook visited India with a few key executives in May. The team met with local telecommunications companies to discuss iPhone partnerships, while Cook sat down with Modi to talk retail, manufacturing, encryption and more. The meetings came shortly before Apple announced plans to open a Maps development center in Hyderabad.

India represents a huge opportunity for Apple as iPhone sales plateau. As a premium brand, however, iPhone is slow to catch on in the developing market. Figures released by research firm Strategy Analytics last month show Apple's share of the Indian smartphone market fell 35 percent year-over-year to 2.4 percent during the quarter ending in June. Google's Android, by contrast, owned 97.1 percent of the market.

Despite Android's overwhelming domination of India's existing consumer base, Apple appears adamant to push into the region banking on its "quality over quantity" mantra. When visiting in May, Cook said Apple is working to bring its entire product line to Indian customers.

"We are in India for the next thousand years," Cook said at the time. "Our horizon is very long. We are focused on best, not most. So it doesn't bother me that we don't have top market share."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 281member
    I seriously doubt it. The "talks" were most likely spurred by trying to assuage India on the refurbished ones. As in "Sure! The refurbished ones is only the beginning! Who knows we might even build new ones here! But we need the ok to sell the used ones first'"

    You know, the old woo them and dump them routine. Besides it makes no sense. The middle class can't even afford refurbished ones yet.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    The Mac mini and MacBook Air would be perfect machines for lower-income markets like India. And they should be "Made in India", too.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,762member
    With relations between the US and China seemingly more fractious each month, India might be a smart move. The general population might not be a target audience yet but elite India is tech-savvy.
    mike1
  • Reply 4 of 16
    qwwera said:

    You know, the old woo them and dump them routine. Besides it makes no sense. The middle class can't even afford refurbished ones yet.
    Guys like you said the same thing about China 7-10 years ago. 

    It's the typical, uninformed, arrogance and ignorance of some anonymous internet bozo who thinks (s)he knows more than the largest market cap company in the world and its CEO does. 
    fotoformatfastasleepmike1
  • Reply 5 of 16
    China should pay attention to this. I for one won't be surprised to see significant assembly from Apple in Brazil and India before the decade is through. Even Chinese manufacturers are looking to exploit these regions.
    jfc1138
  • Reply 6 of 16
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    sog35 said:
    This is the biggest news of the day:


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/06/technology/india-reliance-jio-4g-internet/

    India billionaire offering free 4G for the rest of 2016, and then as little as $2 a month next year. This 4G network covers 80% of India and OVER A BILLION PEOPLE.

    Get ready for iPhone sales in India to explode. The same thing happenned in China once 4G went online.

    Come on AppleInsider. This is REAL news.
    Why my LTE iPhone in 4G becomes very slow? 
  • Reply 7 of 16
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    sog35 said:
    This is the biggest news of the day:


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/06/technology/india-reliance-jio-4g-internet/

    India billionaire offering free 4G for the rest of 2016, and then as little as $2 a month next year. This 4G network covers 80% of India and OVER A BILLION PEOPLE.

    Get ready for iPhone sales in India to explode. The same thing happenned in China once 4G went online.

    Come on AppleInsider. This is REAL news.
    iPhone sales in India are minuscule, so there is plenty of room for exploding, but it won't happen while the average income remains low and the iPhone is priced so high.  LTE availability has almost nothing to do with it.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 8 of 16
    If manufacturing in India is improved up to third world standards, they might be able to do refurbishments without harming themselves or destroying the high standards one would expect from Nokia. Apple: not so much. I would not buy anything produced in India from what I have witnessed first hand in my 3 trips and 9 weeks in that country.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 16
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    sog35 said:
    cnocbui said:
    sog35 said:
    This is the biggest news of the day:


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/06/technology/india-reliance-jio-4g-internet/

    India billionaire offering free 4G for the rest of 2016, and then as little as $2 a month next year. This 4G network covers 80% of India and OVER A BILLION PEOPLE.

    Get ready for iPhone sales in India to explode. The same thing happenned in China once 4G went online.

    Come on AppleInsider. This is REAL news.
    iPhone sales in India are minuscule, so there is plenty of room for exploding, but it won't happen while the average income remains low and the iPhone is priced so high.  LTE availability has almost nothing to do with it.
    What,? LTE has everything to do with iPhone adoption. Without LTE there is very little reason to buy a premium smartphone. Just look at China the last 4 years 
    Having LTE available doesn't somehow magically put money in your wallet.

    Best LTE smartphones under $200 (off contract)


    Want A Cheap Chinese Smartphone That Rivals iPhone 6? Better Try India
    ...
    Many of its biggest names quickly rose to prominence in the past couple of years by making cheap, high-quality knockoffs of global brands like Apple and Samsung. But as Chinese shoppers become more affluent and sophisticated, they increasingly want the real thing. The trend has the country’s handset makers scrambling for new markets, and many are now targeting India – a potentially huge growth opportunity where consumers are tech-savvy but generally can’t afford status symbols like the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 Edge.

    As a result, Indians are being bombarded with enticing mobile-phone offers like they've never seen before. A Moto E, from Lenovo’s Motorola unit, costs less than $100, a Huawei Honor Holly can be had for $110, or for $15 more one can get a Lenovo A6000 4G handset.


    On Amazon's Indian site, an iPhone 6S 16Gb is IR42,990.  A Samsung J2 16GB is IR7,590.  A Panasonic Eluga A2 which is a lot better looking than an 6s and has a whopping 4000 mah battery is still less than a quarter the price of a 6s at IR 8,799 and you don't get the foot wide bezels, either.



    You seem to think the only LTE phone people could pick in India is an iPhone.


  • Reply 10 of 16
    If manufacturing in India is improved up to third world standards, they might be able to do refurbishments without harming themselves or destroying the high standards one would expect from Nokia. Apple: not so much. I would not buy anything produced in India from what I have witnessed first hand in my 3 trips and 9 weeks in that country.
    So, you think that Apple will put something out into the market of less than "high standards" depending on where they are manufactured or sold?

    How stupid is your post?
  • Reply 11 of 16
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,039member
    sog35 said:
    This is the biggest news of the day:


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/06/technology/india-reliance-jio-4g-internet/

    India billionaire offering free 4G for the rest of 2016, and then as little as $2 a month next year. This 4G network covers 80% of India and OVER A BILLION PEOPLE.

    Get ready for iPhone sales in India to explode. The same thing happenned in China once 4G went online.

    Come on AppleInsider. This is REAL news.

    Did you happen to see how many times the word "Free" was used in that article. this is the problem in India they all expect things for free. You can not even begin to compare India to China. They can only give away stuff for so long before they either go out of business or they have raise prices. However, once people's expectations are that something is free or close very little the ability to raise prices becomes impossible. India's middle class income comes from outside India, they work for companies who primary business is outside India. If the US decides not to outsource services like, IT and recruiting services to India they will be in trouble. India is more dependent on ever other countries economy than their own when the rest of the world starts to suffer India will be in far worse condition.


    Lastly, I do not believe India has a skilled work forces like China does, I think Apple/Foxconn will have a very hard time finding 10's of thousand works who have the skills to assemble complex electronics like an iphone.

    edited September 2016
  • Reply 12 of 16
    If manufacturing in India is improved up to third world standards, they might be able to do refurbishments without harming themselves or destroying the high standards one would expect from Nokia. Apple: not so much. I would not buy anything produced in India from what I have witnessed first hand in my 3 trips and 9 weeks in that country.
    I understand the large pockets of devastating poverty in China are nothing compared to the gutter that is India.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    maestro64 said:
    sog35 said:
    This is the biggest news of the day:


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/06/technology/india-reliance-jio-4g-internet/

    India billionaire offering free 4G for the rest of 2016, and then as little as $2 a month next year. This 4G network covers 80% of India and OVER A BILLION PEOPLE.

    Get ready for iPhone sales in India to explode. The same thing happenned in China once 4G went online.

    Come on AppleInsider. This is REAL news.

    Did you happen to see how many times the word "Free" was used in that article. this is the problem in India they all expect things for free. You can not even begin to compare India to China. They can only give away stuff for so long before they either go out of business or they have raise prices. However, once people's expectations are that something is free or close very little the ability to raise prices becomes impossible. India's middle class income comes from outside India, they work for companies who primary business is outside India. If the US decides not to outsource services like, IT and recruiting services to India they will be in trouble. India is more dependent on ever other countries economy than their own when the rest of the world starts to suffer India will be in far worse condition.


    Lastly, I do not believe India has a skilled work forces like China does, I think Apple/Foxconn will have a very hard time finding 10's of thousand works who have the skills to assemble complex electronics like an iphone.

    Samsung employ thousands of engineers in India and they have managed to make two phone OSs - Bada and Tizen - which is very commendable and no mean feat.

    Are you aware that India has nuclear as well as a space launch capabilities?  You seem to be severely underestimating the country.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    sog35 said:
    If manufacturing in India is improved up to third world standards, they might be able to do refurbishments without harming themselves or destroying the high standards one would expect from Nokia. Apple: not so much. I would not buy anything produced in India from what I have witnessed first hand in my 3 trips and 9 weeks in that country.
    I understand the large pockets of devastating poverty in China are nothing compared to the gutter that is India.
    Yet there are still about 400,000,000 people in India who are middle class and above.
    BS.

    According to NCAER, India's middle class population would be 267 million in 2016

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living_in_India

    And middle class in India is nothing like middle class in the US.  The criteria for those 267 M is an income band starting at a US equivalent of $5110.  And that criteria isn't people with middle class incomes it's the number of people living in a household with a middle class income.  With the average household being 5 people, that middle class income of $5110 isn't going to buy you too many iPhone 6s at $650 a pop.



  • Reply 15 of 16
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,129member
    China should pay attention to this. I for one won't be surprised to see significant assembly from Apple in Brazil and India before the decade is through. Even Chinese manufacturers are looking to exploit these regions.
    Brazil won't happen.
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