Apple has started the assembly of iPhone 12 in India, the US tech giant said, a move that is expected to help the US tech giant further consolidate its position in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market.
“We are proud to be starting production of iPhone 12 in India for our local customers,” Apple said in a statement on Thursday, according to Gadgets NDTV, without naming the supplier making the smartphone.
However, two sources familiar with the matter have informed NDTV that the Indian unit of Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, which has a plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, will assemble the device.
Foxconn, which has previously said it does not comment on client-specific work, did not immediately respond to a comment request.
The Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple has been shifting some areas of production from China to other markets as it navigates the trade war between the US and China. A person familiar with the matter said in November that at Apple’s request, Foxconn is moving some iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China.
Apple has bet big on India since it begin iPhone assembly in the country in 2017, the first of it being iPhone SE, via another Taiwanese supplier, Wistron. iPhone 10R and iPhone 11 were also manufactured.
According to NDTV, third-party manufacturers for Apple, Foxconn, Wistron, and a third supplier Pegatron, “have together committed roughly $900 million (roughly Rs. 6,540 crores) over five years to make iPhone models in India, leveraging New Delhi’s $6.7 billion (roughly Rs. 48,660 crores) plan to boost smartphone exports.”
According to a Reuters report from last month, Apple is also planning to bring the assembly of its iPad tablet to India.
“Nice to see our efforts to make India a big hub of mobile and components manufacturing is attracting global attention,” India’s technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted following news of iPhone 12 production in India.
“This will create jobs in large numbers.”
Apple’s rivals include Samsung and OnePlus in the premium smartphone segment. The iPhone maker has been aggressively ramping up its presence in the Indian market.
In January, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, had stated that the company has doubled its business in India in the December quarter due to the successful performance of its online store, and it sees a good growth trajectory going ahead.
“India is one of those, where our share is quite low. It did improve from the year-ago quarter. Our business roughly doubled over that period of time. And so, we feel perfect about the trajectory. We are doing several things in the area. We put the online store there, for example, and last quarter was the first full quarter of the online store,” Cook had said, according to India TV.
Apple’s growth has been noted by research firms like Counterpoint, who reported that the tech company captured the sixth spot in terms of shipment in India in the Q4 2020 with 171 percent year-on-year growth, and 93 percent growth in 2020 over the previous year.
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