After months of protracted negotiations, Apple has started manufacturing its iPhones in India.
The factory is variously said to be in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and / or Karnathaka. Not knowing the geography all that well, we think this is slightly south-west of the middle of India.
The picture above is from IndRead.com, which seems to suggest Foxconn is setting up and running the factory. Foxconn is the Taiwanese company which manufactures most of Apple’s products.
Apple has begun making what was described as “a small number” of iPhones in the country, although a “small number” could mean hundreds of millions, considering there are more than a billion iPhones in the world today.
In comments to CNBC, Apple said, “We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru”, adding that it plans to begin shipping to customers as early as this month.
Although iPhones are reasonably popular in India, the company is not as dominant in the country as it is in many others.
The potential is huge, given that India has a population of more than 1 billion.
The most popular smartphone brand in India is Samsung, with more than 28 per cent share, followed by Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo.
Apple had previously suggested selling refurbished iPhones in India, but the government got involved and discouraged the idea. Prime Minister Narendra Modhi met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to signal the seriousness of India’s intentions.
A number of sweeteners may have been offered to lure the tech giant to India, as part of the country’s bid to move further up the list of top manufacturing nations in the world.
Currently, India is said to be fifth-largest manufacturing nation, after Japan, Germany, China and the US.