Apple may start manufacturing iPhone SE in India 'in the coming months'

Sarmistha Acharya
Apple to manufacture iPhone SE in India

Apple will begin manufacturing the budget iPhone SE models at a facility in the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru "in the coming months".

Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron is said to be setting up a facility in the industrial hub of Peenya, on the outskirts of the southern Indian city, to assemble iPhones.

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Apple has been planning to set up a local facility for some time now and has been negotiating with the Indian government on issues related to tax concessions. However, the initial production of the iPhone SE models was not contingent on the concessions the company was seeking, an industry source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

While it was reported that the company was planning to initially assemble 300,000 to 400,000 iPhone SE models, Reuters' source claims the numbers could be quite lower. There is no information about which other iPhone models the company would assemble at the Bengaluru plant.

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According to market research firm Countrepoint, Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones to India in 2016. Three-quarters of smartphones sold in the country were manufactured locally.

Apple was on 10th position in India's smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2016, but it dominated the premium smartphone segment with a 62% share.

The smartphone market in India is dominated by Samsung and Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Vivo. A majority of them have priced their devices below Rs15,000 (£179). The iPhone SE, however, costs Rs28,433 on Amazon India's website.

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