The iPhone 6s Plus is one of the highest selling models in India and Apple has begun its trial production at a new factory in the southern region of India with an aim to lower the model’s prices. Setting up a local factory in Bengaluru, Karnataka, Apple aims to drop the prices as a response to the government policies that taxes foreign devices.
Apple’s contract manufacturer, Wistron, has set up a new assembly line for the production of iPhone 6s Plus, and is expected to start its commercial production in the coming weeks. According to reports, the local production of the Apple devices can slash prices by 5-7%, which will create a competition between iPhone 6s Plus’ price and China’s OnePlus devices. Additionally, the iPhones can also compete with some of Samsung’s premium models, which were unaffected by the price hikes due to the rise in customs duty, and also because they are all locally produced in the country.
The Indian government raised the tariffs on smartphones from 15% to 20% in February, forcing Apple to take new measures to reduce the price and stay competitive. Another way for Apple to cut down the cost would be to make the parts and packaging in India as well. Moreover, recently the Indian government also announced a 10% customs duty on circuit boards, camera modules, connectors, and other parts with an aim to boost the local smartphone economy in India.
The iPhone 6S Plus remains popular as it costs less than the other flagship phones like the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X, but still has many of the same core features like the 5.5-inch retina display, a 12MP camera, and 4K video recording. Moreover, it also comes in a rose gold colour which has been discontinued for the newer devices.
The local assembly of the older iPhone SE since last May has helped the model to be insulated from the price hike. Industry experts also said that Apple has started a discussion with its component vendors and contract manufacturers like Flex, Foxconn, and Wistron to expand the local sourcing. Apple has also expanded local sourcing initiatives to two more partners in India, which now includes chargers, adapters, and packaging boxes.
Therefore, there are now five sourcing plants in India. Apart from Wistron, the tech giant has added Finland-based Salcomp’s facility in Tamil Nadu and China-based Shenzhen YUTO packaging technology plant in Bengaluru for global sourcing.
Although the iPhone 6s Plus will be the second phone assembled in India, it is still not fully manufactured here, and will thus be subjected to certain taxes.