A report published by Reuters has revealed that the first iPhone to be manufactured in India will be the iPhone SE, one of its most affordable models.
An earlier report from Indian publication The Economic Times had claimed that Apple is planning to assemble 300,000 to 400,000 units of the iPhone SE in India initially, but the Reuters report claims the actual number will be much lower. It is also not clear at this point if Apple will be assembling other iPhone models in the country, although a final decision will depend on the success of the initial iPhone SE production runs.
The iPhone SE will be manufactured at a new plant that is being set up in Bengaluru, Karnataka by contract manufacturer Wistron. Since the iPhone SE is the only “affordable” model in the company’s latest lineup, Apple is hoping that it will be able to price the model more competitively after local assembly, which should help drive sales further. It is estimated by IDC that Apple will be able to reduce the model’s retail price by 10-12% after it begins assembling in India.
Apple shipped only 2.5 million iPhones in the country last year, managing to secure the tenth spot in terms of market share in the fourt quarter. The Indian smartphone market is mainly dominated by Samsung and Chinese Android OEMs, as the average selling price of smartphones in the country is around $225, while the iPhone SE is priced at roughly $424.