Apple reportedly starts building iPhone 6s in India to avoid import tax and customs duty

While India is the second largest smartphone market in the world, per capita income is low. As a result, many Indian smartphone buyers stick to value manufacturers like Xiaomi, or purchase older, cheaper Apple iPhone models. Not that long ago, the Apple iPhone 5s was the top selling iOS powered device in the country. Also selling well was the iPhone SE. Last year, Apple started producing its 4-inch budget model in India to exclude the phone from getting socked by import charges. Producing the device in India is believed to save the average buyer of the unit $100 USD. The move also fit in perfectly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" campaign.

Now, a report in today's Economic Times says that contract manufacturer Wistron has added a new line at its facility in Bengaluru, India that is producing the iPhone 6s. That is the same factory that churns out the iPhone SE. After running trial production of several older models, Apple chose the iPhone 6s because of the unit's sales potential in India, according to senior industry executives. The iPhone 6 series makes up 33% of iPhone sales in India compared to 15% for the iPhone SE.

Once Apple builds up capacity at the Wistron plant, the "made-in-India" iPhone 6s will be sold in India only, and will be exempt from India's import tax. That will save the locals some bucks if they decide to purchase the phone, which Apple first launched in September 2014. Until Apple is satisfied with the capacity at the Bengaluru factory, it will continue to import the iPhone 6s into the country.

Locally produced iPhone units not only aren't subject to the country's import tax, they aren't charged customs duty. The latter fee was raised on smartphones from 10% to 15% earlier this year, and to 20% in February. This forced Apple to raise the prices of imported iPhone units by 6% to 7% in India this year.

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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4 Comments

2. AbhiD

Posts: 801; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Every smartphone manufacturer maunfactures or assembles their phones in India right now, to avoid additional taxes, duties and to fulfill local demand. Be it Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Motorola, Lenovo, LG, Huawei etc etc. Only big exception is Apple and that reflects in their Indian prices. iPhone X which is priced at $999 in USA is priced in India at ₹95,390 (~$1400) and the 256gb variant costs exorbitant $1580. Forget about India, if iPhone X was priced like this even in the US, it would have been a MASSIVE Flop. And these pathetic prices reflect across all Apple iPhone lineup in India. On one hand Apple cries about meagre sales in India, and on the other hand they don't want to do production in here so that not only consumers benefit from it but also Apple with an increased marketshare.

4. KingSam

Posts: 1448; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

In Jmaica the iPhone 8 cost a tad above $1000 given our nasty 45% import duty on phones.

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