Full details of Apple’s deal with Foxconn are not yet clear and could change.
Mumbai/New Delhi: Apple will begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn as early as 2019, the first time the Taiwanese contract manufacturer will have made the product in the country, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Importantly, Foxconn will be assembling the most expensive models, such as devices in the flagship iPhone X family, the source said, potentially taking Apple’s business in India to a new level.
The work will take place at Foxconn’s plant in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, said the source, who is not authorised to speak to the media and so declined to be named.
Foxconn, which already makes phones for Xiaomi Corp in India, will invest `2,500 crore to expand the plant, including investment in iPhone production, Tamil Nadu’s industries minister M.C. Sampath told Reuters.
The investment may create as many as 25,000 jobs, he added.
Another source also said Foxconn planned to assemble iPhones in India, in a move that could help both it and Apple to limit the impact of a trade war between the US and China.
Reuters is first to report the size of the investment and the kind of phones to be assembled.
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment. Foxconn said it did not comment on matters related to current or potential customers, or any of their products.
Until now, Cupertino, California-based Apple has only assembled the lower-cost SE and 6S models in India through Wistron Corp’s local unit in the Bengaluru technology hub.
Its sales in India have also been focused on lower-end phones — more than half of its sales volume is driven by models older than the iPhone 8, launched last year, according to research firm Counterpoint.
Apple launched the pricey iPhone X last year but has cut production of that phone, according to industry analysts, since it began selling the newer versions, iPhone XS and XR, globally this year.
Still, it could potentially get Foxconn to make the older iPhone X version in India where it sells cheaper models in a bid to get a bigger share of the world’s fastest growing major mobile phone market. Full details of Apple’s deal with Foxconn are not yet clear and could change.