Apple will reportedly start building high-end iPhone models in India as soon as 2019
When Apple decided to start building the iPhone SE in India last year, it was done to help the phone avoid import taxes, making the device even more affordable for Indian consumers. At the time, the throwback model was one of the cheapest iPhones available in the country, competing with older iPhone models. While India is the world's second largest smartphone market in the world after China, the per capita income is low. In 2016, that figure was $1,670, ranking India at 112th out of 164 countries.
Earlier this year, Apple started to build the iPhone 6s in India, and today Reuters reports that Apple will expand its Indian production to include more expensive iPhone models. Citing an anonymous source familiar with the plan, the news agency writes that as soon as next year, contract manufacturer Foxconn will assemble iPhone units at its Indian facilities in the town of Sriperumbudur, which is in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. High-end models such as the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR are expected to roll off Foxconn's assembly lines in the country.
Foxconn, which already produces Xiaomi phones in the country, is expected to spend $356 million to expand its Indian factory. In addition, Apple's decision could add 25,000 jobs to Foxconn's payroll in the country.
Speaking of Xiaomi, with its value pricing perfectly suited for Indian consumers, the Chinese manufacturer is currently the number one smartphone brand in the country. One survey had Apple's share in India down to the 1-2% range earlier this year.