For yeas, Apple has been assembling iPhone SE and iPhone 6s in India via Wistron to save on importation costs. The contract manufacturer is now said to be expanding its production capabilities into newer models, including the latest iPhone XS and iPhone XR line.
The Economic Times newspaper reported Thursday that the manufacturer’s plan to spend 5,000 crore, which works out to about $714.6 million, has been approved by the country’s information technology ministry.
“We have just approved Wistron’s Rs 5,091-crore application and it is with the cabinet now,” IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. “Wistron will make the latest iPhone models,” he added.
A January report revealed that Wistron poured 30 billion rupees, or $340 million, into its iPhone production facilities in Narasapura to expand and meet future demand for its services in the country, with the first expansion phase expected to complete in the first half of 2019.
India is the world’s fastest growing major mobile phone market, but Apple has priced itself out of the market there, with its share of the Indian smartphone market tanking below two percent.
Last December, Reuters alleged that Apple might get Foxconn, its primary manufacturer, to build the iPhone X units in a bid to get a bigger share of the Indian smartphone market.
Foxconn submitted an application for a Rs 2,500-crore project on December 31.
According to The Wall Street Journal, 75 percent of smartphones sold in India are priced below $250. Another factoid: 55 percent of global research and development is done in India.