Apple’s Made In India iPhones Likely To Arrive At Indian Stores Next Month

Apple Inc’s most celebrated phones that are assembled in India by Foxconn’s local unit are likely to arrive at Indian stores next month. This would help it in drop prices in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market.

Some approvals are pending, but the India-made iPhone XR and XS devices are expected to hit the market by August, the source said, asking not to be named as the matter is not public.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Foxconn said it does not comment on customers or their products.

Expanding local assembly will help Apple save on high taxes levied on the import of fully-built devices, as well as meet local sourcing norms for opening its own retail stores in India.

Apple’s devices are coveted by millions of Indians, but its premium pricing has limited its market share to a meager 1 percent to the gain of rivals such as China’s OnePlus.

Reuters had previously reported that the local unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, widely known as Foxconn, would this year begin assembling iPhone X family devices in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state.

Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple also assembles the lower-cost SE, 6S and 7 models in India through Wistron Corp’s local unit in the tech hub of Bengaluru.

“Local production will give Apple the leeway to play with the margins of their distributors and indirectly price their phones lower,” said Rushabh Doshi, a research director at tech consultancy Canalys.

TRADE WAR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has tried to position South Asia’s third-biggest economy as a hub for smartphone manufacturing, wooing global players with access to a market with over a billion wireless connections and cheap labor.

That push has met with some success as global smartphone giants including Samsung and China’s Oppo have expanded rapidly in India, and contract manufacturers like Foxconn have ramped up domestic operations.

Beyond fulfilling local demand, companies such as Apple could also use India as an export hub to soften the impact of a bruising trade war between the United States and China, according to technology analysts.

Apple cut its fiscal first-quarter sales forecast, blaming slowing iPhone sales in China where uncertainty around U.S.-China trade relations has hurt the economy.

Some of the Wistron assembled iPhone 6s and 7 are being exported from India to markets in Europe, Neil Shah of Hong-King based tech researcher Counterpoint said.

Wistron’s India head declined to comment.

Apple Drops Intel’s 5G Chips In 2020 iPhone Models

Apple has conveyed its firm message-of-the-hour to Intel, saying it will not be using the company’s 5G modems for its 2020 iPhone models.

On the counterpart, Intelseems to have put on hold the development of a modem internally known as “Sunny Peak”. However, the company is reportedly now focusing on improving its product in an attempt to win Apple back for the 2022 iPhone lineup.

The news was originally reported by Calcalist, an Israeli financial daily, which reviewed internal company communications.

Earlier reports suggested that Apple was turning to Taiwanese mobile chipset maker MediaTek for its communications components and that the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant was looking to move away from using Intel processors altogether by 2020.

Apple started using Intel components in modern iPhones as it wanted to reduce its dependence on chips from Qualcomm, with which it got entangled in a log legal battle.