New iPhone SE said to ship in the first quarter of 2018

Apple could start shipping an updated version of the fourth-inch iPhone SE, its most affordable smartphone, in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new rumor Friday from Focus Taiwan.

The phone should look like its predecessor and have the A10 chip, a display measuring between four and 4.2 inches, 32GB and 128GB storage options and a 1,700mAh battery.

Sources say that Apple’s Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Wistron is preparing for an expansion of its production facility located in Bangalore, in the Indian state of Karnataka,┬áin order to produce the next-generation iPhone SE models there.

Wistron is reportedly in talks with the Karnataka government for an extra piece of land for the production expansion, hoping to double or even triple its production capacity over the next five years. The new iPhone SE should be more affordable than larger iPhones for many Indian consumers because the device will enjoy a ten percent exemption in basic customs duty.

Wistron is currently assembling a small run of iPhone SE units for the Indian market in a facility set up at Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

However, the Taiwanese company has already sought tax concessions to set up new iPhone production plants in the 1.33 billion people country. A recent report said that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May cut a deal that would let Apple’s suppliers build a full range of iPhones from scratch for both Indian and international markets.

Among the prerequisites Apple itself submitted to the local government: duty exemption on raw materials for manufacturing components and capital equipment for 15 years.