Apple starts assembling iPhone SE 2020 in India
Apple has begun assembling its latest iPhone SE 2020 in India. The phone is being assembled by its manufacturing partner Wistron in Bengaluru. The move is likely to help Apple avoid a 20% import tax on smartphones.
Confirming the development, Apple said in a statement, “iPhone SE packs our most powerful chip into our most popular size at our most affordable price and we're excited to be making it in India for our local customers.”
The iPhone SE 2020 joins a small list of phones Apple is assembling in India. So far, the company has assembled iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, iPhone XR, and the last year's flagship iPhone 11.
Apple has been making efforts to scale up its local manufacturing in India. In an earnings call earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook had said manufacturing in India was one of its top priorities.
"I think India is a very important market in the long-term. It's a challenging market in the short-term. But we're learning a lot. We have started manufacturing there which is very important to be able to serve the market in a reasonable way. And we're growing that capability there," Cook had said.
Manufacturing in India is also going to help Apple reduce dependence upon China in the future. The company has explored other countries such as Vietnam as one of its new manufacturing hubs.
That said, Apple may further look to leverage the Indian government's PLI scheme. According to reports, Apple manufacturing partners Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron have also applied for the scheme.
Apple is also said to be planning the local assembling of iPhone 12 in India mid-2021. The iPhone 12 is an upcoming flagship phone from Apple and is expected to launch next month. Reports suggest Apple's iPhone 12 will be assembled by Wistron in Bengaluru.