Apple will reportedly export iPhones made in India

Apple will reportedly export iPhones made in India
In order to avoid having to tack on a $100 import tax on Apple iPhone models imported into India, Apple decided a few years ago to manufacture older iPhone models in the country. While India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world, it is a developing market and $100 could make a huge difference to a consumer looking to purchase a phone. This is why value for money offerings from Xiaomi, and Samsung's lower-priced Galaxy A handsets have sold well in the country.

The downside is that until recently, Apple was building older iPhone models in India. That is why as recently as this past May, Apple advertised "The Amazing iPhone 6s" priced at the equivalent of $375. Keep in mind that this is a four-year-old phone being promoted here. But last month, Apple reportedly started producing a more recent iPhone model in the country, 2018's iPhone XR. While these phones are being manufactured for domestic use only, there has been talk about Apple shifting some of its handset production out of China to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports (which are scheduled to affect the iPhone starting on December 15th). But this would require expanding Apple's supply chain and manufacturing facilities in India.

India's tech minister says Apple will export iPhones made in India


Earlier this year, Apple said that it was looking at moving as much as 30% of its production out of China. While India might be considered one of the destinations that would make sense for the company, Vietnam might be the front runner at this stage.

Apple's Indian iPhone production dovetails with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s "Make in India" campaign. The initiative, over five years old, was designed to get manufacturers to churn out more locally-made products. Corporate tax rates were cut in September as the country seeks to get more tech firms like Apple and its partners like Foxconn and Wistron to expand their Indian operations.


To that end, Reuters reports today that a Finnish company named Salcomp will invest nearly $279 million over five years to fix up a former Nokia handset factory in India. The facility will turn out mobile chargers and components for smartphones starting in March of next year. The news came from India's technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who said that the plants will provide jobs for 10,000 people. Salcomp supplies Apple with chargers.

Talking to the media today, India's Prasad displayed a locally produced iPhone XR and said that Apple will start exporting its Indian produced phones. To accomplish this, the tech minister said that Apple will expand its operations in the country. He also noted that exports of phones and components from India will amount to $1.6 billion for each category over the fiscal year ended in March 2020.

The Indian market is a dicey one for Apple because it is so sensitive to price. As a result, consumers in India might be considered fickle and less loyal to brands. For example, during the first quarter of this year, shipments of the iPhone in India declined 42% during the first quarter year-over-year to 220,000 units. Shipments rebounded in April as Apple delivered 200,000 iPhones in the country for that month alone. But the iPhone faced tough competition in April and May as the OnePlus 7 offered Indians a phone with high-end specs at a reasonable price. Counterpoint Research said earlier this year that it expects Apple's iPhone shipments in India to hit 1.5 million to 1.6 million handsets this year. But the trend remains down as 3.2 million had been delivered in the country during 2017 and 1.8 million were shipped last year.

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10 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7574; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Well the Indians are not buying them. Apple has less than 1% market share in India. So naturally iPhones have to be exported. If it's such a developing market, then Apple should have done something about it a long time ago. By the end of this year over 155 million smartphones are going to be sold in that country.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7574; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

So for the first half Apple sold only 420 thousand iPhones this year. So Apple is going to sell for the next half over 1 million iPhones. Not likely.

3. tbreezy

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

As long as their Average Selling Price continues to be high, I doubt they mind losing market share. Most competitors have to sell hundreds of thousands more of cheap models to compete and actually make some sort of profit. Market share means nothing if you are barely breaking even.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7574; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Really? Hmm, so I guess Apple is content with less than 1% of India's 155 million smartphones that are sold each year. Oh and that is in a growing market. Yet, Apple is continuing to decline over there. You can make up what ever you want. But there is money over there. It's just that Apple is not going to see it.

7. tbreezy

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

If Apple is not going to see the money then nobody is going to see the money as the other guys barely make anything anyway :’D LOL! The Android OEM margins are puny.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Then what phones are actually selling there, that make up 155 million?

4. Vogue1985 unregistered

Apple is out priced in the majority all emerging markets,where the population is very open to new design innovations and affordability and value for money. Apple is NON of those, so not surprised they are sell,competition overseas is very high,unlike here in the us were politics and carriers control what phone are sold mainstream

6. Whitedot

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

There must be reason for someone to buy 4 year old phone. One passable reason is to jump OS wagon. Which is highly unlikely. India is a very different market. In short Apple's current plan to sell severely outdated hardware at the price of solid upper midranger Android phone will miserably fail. Having said that I like this kind of predetermined attempts from Apple just to see another declining quarter some time later .

8. tbreezy

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

There’s a great reason Apple do this, Apple want profit not market share, they take about 60-65% of profits in mobile, while all other OEMs fight for the remaining scraps. So Apple don’t mind giving it marketshare as they still make better margins on a 4 year old phone vs some Android OEMs with brand new flagships. Apple are all about the long game, their financial experts have probably calculated that some of these OEMs will need state funding or some other sort of bailouts soon as many of them barely make anything despite have market share. Some of these OEMs will not be around in 5 years as they will shift. Remember all the iPhone rivals from LG, Sony, HTC etc...? They lost out due to similar issues, they were simply not making any money in Android.

9. andhraking17

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Look at you all fighting about how Indian market works, when none of you are Indians nor live in India. Please leave the Apple status to us "Indians". Apple has huge demand in India, but their hefty pricing is what killing them. If they can overcome that, then there is some chance for Apple in India.

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