Apple has begun manufacturing iPhone SE handsets in India, and will begin selling them in the market as early as this month.
In April, Apple confirmed that it would begin a trial run of iPhone assembly in India, having reached a deal in February with contracted vendor Wistron to manufacture the devices at a Bengaluru facility set up for the purpose. The plant is focused only on the relatively lower cost iPhone SE model.
A company spokesperson confirmed that Apple has started “initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru”, with monthly output pegged at between 25,000 and 50,000 units. This confirms that the US vendor has pressed on with manufacture despite the government’s refusal to grant its requested tax incentives.
As smartphone growth in China begins to decline, Apple is refocusing its attention towards India as a key growth market for the next few years. The country recently surpassed the USA as the world’s second largest smartphone market, with rapid growth – in the first quarter this year, smartphone shipments jumped 14.8% year-on-year, hitting 27 million devices.
Speaking about India, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the firm was “going into the country on a number of fronts. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for Apple there”. The firm’s push towards India comes after its Chinese revenue fell by 14% to $10.8 billion in its fiscal Q2.