India has emerged as the newest destination where the Apple iPhones would be assembled with actual production slated to start around June itself. For its Indian operations, Apple would be partnering with its Taiwanese OEM firm Wistron to set up an assembly plant in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.
Apple had earlier made it known on several occasions of its keenness to set up a manufacturing plant in India even though it has extensive facilities in neighbouring China. However, with sales tapering off in China, it does make sense for the company to explore southwards.
Experts also believe Apple might have hit a plateau in China with no significant growth potential in the near future. The growth of numerous domestic companies all vying for a slice of the huge Chinese smartphone market is also another reason interest in iPhones have been on the wane for a while now.
That said, iPhone sales figures aren’t too enthusiastic in India as well, and one reason for that is the high price tag it comes with. With the vast majority of phone sales in India happening in the budget mid-range segment, the market for high-end phones remains restricted.
However, Apple is still bullish of the long-term growth potential in India. The iPhones will also be a lot cheaper once they begin to be made in India, which again will greatly add to their sales potential in the country. Apple had earlier sought tax reliefs and other sops for them to be able to set up a manufacturing base in India. However, it is not known how much the authorities ceded, if at all, to pave the way for Apple to enter India.
In another development, President Trump extended his invitation to Samsung to setup a manufacturing centre in the United States. This comes in response to the South Korean conglomerate’s plans to set up a home appliances factory in the country even though things still are at the conceptual stages on that.
Apart from Samsung, LG too is believed to be contemplating setting up an appliances factory in the United States, with Tennessee likely to be the favored location. Such developments no doubt will go well with the present administration that has vowed to bring back jobs in the U.S.