Apple, which reportedly started manufacturing iPhones in India, is now reported to have also started selling those trial iPhone SE’s that were assembled in India at select stores in the country. This is all said to be a part of its trial run, which is expected to be made official by the end of this very month.
A person aware of the development told LiveMint:
Apple is selling iPhone SE in India at select stores. These phones were assembled in India on trial basis in limited quantities. The high-end India-made iPhones (iPhone SE) have already hit the Indian market. These have been on sale from May 2 onwards.
The Cupertino-based technology company a couple of days back had said that it was ‘beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru.’
A picture shared by the said person to LiveMint showed details of the iPhone SE with 32GB storage capacity with “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in India” printed on the box. It also had a price tag of ₹27,200, inclusive of all taxes, on the box. This pricing is quite steep and doesn’t exactly fall in line with the government’s expectations, who was expecting Apple to cut the prices down to around $250 (or approx ₹16,000). The company has, however, decided to fix the price slightly higher than the original $399 (or approx ₹25,500) price tag of the iPhone SE.
As per the source, Apple had completed the manufacturing of iPhones SEs in Bengaluru in April. The units are being assembled by Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron. A couple of days ago, we confirmed that Apple had started assembling iPhone SE devices in India.
Apple wants to bring its component manufacturers to India to make parts and export finished phones and is seeking tax concessions on import of key components. However, the central government has rejected most of the demands of the US-based tech giant.
This assembly line could also help Apple increase the sale of its cheapest iPhone as the company’s iPhone sales are flailing in some of the fastest growing markets. This is a cause of concern and the assembly plant in India can also help the company in other South Asian regions as well. But, Apple has been opposed to the idea of giving up on its profit margins on the iPhone.
If the trial run goes as expected by the company, Apple is planning to establish an official online presence in the country. With the iPhone SE, the company will also debut its digital marketplace to sell its device(s) directly to the netizens of India. For this, Apple does not require regulatory approval for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. The government allows manufacturers to directly sell locally manufactured models online.