Apple has begun production on the iPhone 6s in India. This is the second Apple handset after the iPhone SE to be manufactured in the second most populous nation in the world. The Economic Times says this move will help Apple avoid paying import duties in the country.
Production on the 2015 iPhone began last week at Wistron’s Bengaluru facility and followed production trials at the facility in April on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The smaller model was selected for mass production due to its sales potential.
According to Hong King-based researcher Counterpoint, the iPhone 6 series contributes almost 33 percent of total sales of iPhones in India. This compares to the iPhone SE’s 15 percent. During the first quarter of 2018, Apple lost the leadership in the Indian premium smartphone market. At that time, Samsung regained the No. 1 position, followed by China’s OnePlus. Apple took the third spot.
The Economic Times explains:
An executive said Apple wants to expand local production to insulate itself from price increases to remain competitive. The company had to raise prices by 6-7% earlier this year as the basic customs duty on smartphones was increased to 15% from 10% in December and again to 20% in February. The government in April further imposed a 10% customs duty on components like printed circuit boards populated with memory and chips, camera modules and connectors.
Back in December, Apple was forced to absorb a 50 percent tax hike on imported smartphones implemented by the Indian government. As a result, it had to increase the price of every iPhone it sold in the country except for the iPhone SE.
As we mentioned at the time, the latest iPhone X is now priced at 105,720 rupees for a 256GB variant (an average increase of 3.6 percent), which works out to approximately $1,646. Apple’s India website also lists a 256GB variant of the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 with a 3.6 percent higher price point at 79,420 rupees, or about $1,237.
The iPhone 6s being produced in India won’t be sold anywhere else.