India may be Apple’s next big production hub

This photo provided by Apple shows second-generation iPhone SE. (AP)

Electronics and technology giant, Apple Inc, plans to move almost a fifth of its production capacity from China to India. According to reports, the company wants to reap the benefits of the Indian government’s new production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme to encourage local production in the country.

Currently, Apple contracts manufacturers, Foxconn and Wistron, for production of its smartphones and other products. The reports suggest that the company will use these contractors to produce “up to $40 billion worth of smartphones” in India, mostly for export purposes.

The company holds a small share of the Indian smartphone market at the moment, so moving such a major chunk of its production here could only be for export purposes. Apple produces iPhone 7 and iPhone XR in India, while iPhone SE and iPhone 6S, which also used to be produced her, have been discontinued from Apple’s global product portfolio.

The company has not confirmed these reports as of now, but Apple has had some success in the Indian market in recent times. According to a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) earlier this month, Apple took 62.7% of the market share in India’s premium smartphone market in the last quarter.

The company is also expected to benefit from the relaxation given on local sourcing norms by the Indian government late last year. At the time, Apple had thanked the government for its move and said it looks forward to “one day welcoming customers to India’s first Apple retail store”.

There are rumours that the firm is ramping up retail efforts in the country. Apple currently sells through resellers in India but has not managed to launch its own stores. In a call with investors in February, Apple chief executive officer (CEO), Tim Cook, had said first Apple retail store is expected in 2021.

Apple recently announced iPhone SE globally, and will sell it in India too. The company has also announced the Homepod smart speaker, extending its portfolio beyond the usual smartphones and laptops that it’s known for.

source: livemint