On Wednesday, the iPhone making giant announced the commencement of initial production of its low-priced iPhone SE model at its facility in Bengaluru. This move by the Cupertino-based iPhone maker is to gain some more share in the smartphone market in India, which is one of the fastest-growing smartphone market of the world.
Samsung leading the smartphone market in India
In an email, the Silicon Valley giant told IANS said, “We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru. The iPhone SE is the most popular and powerful phone with a four-inch display in the world and we’ll begin shipping to domestic customers this month.”
According to the reports by IANS, it will be a trial run with only small number of iPhone SE units being assembled at the facility. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has started assembling the iPhone SE devices with its Taiwan-based manufacturing partner – Wistron Corporation. Priyank Kharge, the Minister of State for IT of Karnataka had said in February that the tech giant is planning to make its iPhones in Bengaluru.
Also, the news site Reuters had made the revelation about the assembling of iPhone SE models by “ending April or starting May” in February. Kharge said, “An Apple team discussed with us its proposal to set up a plant in Bengaluru to make iPhones for the Indian and global markets.”
Samsung is currently leading the Indian smartphone market with 28.1% share, with Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Vivo capturing the second position with 12% share each.
New iPhone SE models could be available as soon as this month: Reports
According to recent reports by the Wall Street Journal, the iPhone SE models could be available in the local stores of the country as early as the end of this month. The Apple team, led by iPhone Operations Director Dheeraj Chugh, Country Counsel Priyesh Povanna, iPhone Operations Vice-President Priya Balasubramaniam and Government Affairs Head Ali Khanafer, had discussed the proposals with the officials of state in the presence of the minister.
India is a key country for Apple moving forward, according to the most recent data from consumer knowledge and insights firm Kantar Worldpanel. The report said that the iPhone making giant accounted for only 3% of sales in the latest period but recently, the tech giant has taken many strategic actions in the country, including partnering with Reliance Jio to provide free 4G service for 1 year to buyers of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The report added, “Apple is also planning to manufacture iPhones in India in the near future to deflect some of the high import taxes that make iPhones inaccessible to many Indian buyers.”