Apple’s Flagship iPhones to be Made in India

Chennai, the new ‘iPhone city’ . . . 

Apple has started manufacturing its flagship device, the iPhone 11, in Chennai, India, in partnership with Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturer and the largest original device manufacturer (ODM) for Apple products. Foxconn, one of the many contract manufacturers of Apple devices, has also proposed investing US$1 billion to expand its factories in India. In a market ruled by Chinese smartphone companies and Korean brand Samsung, Apple is a fast-growing premium brand in India. Apple previously assembled the iPhone SE 2016 at a plant in Bangalore and plans to make the iPhone SE 2020 at the same plant. The Indian government has heralded this move a significant win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-publicized 'Make in India' initiative.

Will iPhones dominate the Indian market?

Most smartphone giants with a share in the Indian consumer market have set up manufacturing hubs in the country. India is the second-largest smartphone consumer after China, and smartphones, on average, cost about C$200. The much-coveted iPhones tend to be far above the average Indian consumer’s budget due to hefty import fees, but analysts’ reason that with manufacturing moving to India, prices are likely to drop. Still, there are significant concerns about labour conditions, as India is well-known for loopholes and a lack of labour protections. Foxconn, Apple’s largest ODM, has already run into labour issues in China.

In other news, more Chinese apps banned . . .

India has banned another 47 Chinese mobile applications. Interestingly, the newly-banned apps seem to be Chinese clones of the previous 59 apps banned by India in June, namely Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, and SHAREit Lite, among others. What started as a border standoff and violent clashes between the two countries is becoming an ugly tech battle. New Delhi has reportedly drawn up a list of another 275 applications that are either made in China or have significant Chinese investments to be reviewed for violations of privacy and other security concerns.