A report by the Economic Times, which cites two senior industry executives, claims that Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron has begun a trial production run of the iPhone 6s Plus model at its Bengaluru facility in India.
Though Apple has made a decision to assemble iPhone 6s in India, there are no plans for the company to start building their new devices in India anytime soon. Due to government policies, producing the phone within India can cut its price by 5 to 7 percent, though Apple will need to produce India's entire demand for the model within the country to see the full savings.
India's struggles with imported technologies are well-documented at this point, as its government has used increasingly steep tariffs to encourage domestic manufacturing of products consumed within its borders. The commercial production is expected to start in the next couple of weeks. Now, the company has already begun the trial production of iPhone 6s Plus which was one of the best selling models in the country.
One of the major reasons why Xiaomi has been able to gain such popularity in India is because of its competitive pricing. The local production of iPhone 6S may eventually lead to price decrease on the model as it will stay unaffected by the government's customs duty. Emails sent to Apple India and Wistron did not elicit any response as of press time Thursday.
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Local assembly of iPhone SE has helped a lot in preventing the prices hick by 6-7 percent.
Hong Kong-based Counterpoint estimates the iPhone 6 series contributes nearly one-third of total sales of iPhones in India in 2017 as compared to less than 15% generated from iPhone SE, the only Apple smartphone model to be locally assembled in the Wistron plant till now. Apple has also started discussing with its vendors and contract manufacturers like Flex, Foxconn and Wistron to expand sourcing in India.
Ever since government hiked the customs duty on imports, more and more worldwide brands have been pushing to set up their production locally.