Apple’s assembled-in-India smartphones hit the market

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BENGALURU: Apple’s first batch of ‘Assembled in India’ iPhone SE has made its debut in select stores in Bengaluru priced at Rs 27,200 for a 32GB and Rs 37,200 for a 128 GB phone.

The iPhone boxes have the following imprint on them: “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in India’.

Apple’s production in India is expected to swing into high gear after clarity emerges post the GST rollout on July 1. Taiwanese company Wistron, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Apple globally, has shipped a few thousand iPhone SE units out of its facility in the city’s industrial hub of Peenya. India will be only the third country to assemble iPhones, underscoring how important it has become for one of the world’s most valued companies.
Sources said Apple’s resellers and other retail partners have a few tens of units of the ‘Assembled in India’ phones in Bengaluru. A query sent to Apple on the number of units in the initial production of iPhone SE did not elicit a reply till the time of going to print.

India is today one of Apple’s fastest growing markets, and Apple is eager to try and accelerate its growth here because its China sales is saturating. Last month, Apple said it is beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SEs in Bengaluru and would begin shipping to domestic customers. A recent Morgan Stanley report said expanding point of sale, especially in emerging markets like India, is one of the potential catalysts for the Cupertino-based firm. India’s standout economic performance and a burgeoning base of aspiring middle class has given hope for Apple to play in the Rs 30,000 price point, a segment where Samsung is also very strong. In the January-March quarter, Samsung replaced Apple as the top premium smartphone vendor with a 48% market share, up from 31% in October-December, as per data shared by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Parts for the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac are manufactured, mostly by third parties, across 28 countries. Apple has 766 suppliers, of which 346 are based in China, 126 in Japan, and 69 in the US. Apple’s complex supply chain includes a unit of Flextronics in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, which makes a certain component.