Apple to Invest $1 Billion in India to Boost Export Manufacturing

Apple is set to invest $1 billion in India as it gets ready to export its "Made in India" iPhones, according to a new report out today.


Times of India says Foxconn is the main investment partner in Apple's latest push in the country, with the Taiwanese assembler's factory in Chennai to be used to make Apple products for shipping to global markets. A previous report claimed as much as 70 to 80 percent of devices assembled by Foxconn in India are expected to be exported elsewhere.

Apple had initially trialed limited local production of some iPhone models in India via Wistron's Bangalore factory, but now it's adding its other big Taiwanese manufacturing partner to the mix.
The source said "testing is under way" for the products that have been made in India, and added that "Apple is also seeking clarity" on export incentives that the government currently offers.
In July it was reported that Wistron had recently begun exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe, in a move intended to further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.

Back in August, India eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which had long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Before the change, Apple had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices.

However, according to industry watchers, Apple is said to be taking the long view and treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device sales.

Tag: India

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Apple Gets Green Light to Start Online Sales in India Thanks to Rule Change

Apple is set to start online sales of Apple products in India "within months," according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple has not previously been able to sell its devices in India due to foreign investment rules and regulations.

India on Wednesday eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which has long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Instead, Apple has had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices.


Apple is now planning to begin iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales online "in the coming months," though no specific target launch date for sales was specified by Bloomberg.

Now that the rules have changed, Apple is also set to begin opening up retail stores in India in the future and already has retail locations in the works. A new store in Mumbai is in development and is likely set to open next year.

Even prior to the rule change, Apple was working with the Indian government to get permission to open up stores in India. Over the course of the last few years, Apple started manufacturing some lower-cost iPhone models in India to meet local investment requirements.

India is an important market for Apple, as it is a country where Apple devices have low penetration due to high costs from import tariffs. The changes will make Apple devices more affordable to Indian consumers and could grow Apple's footprint in the country.

Tag: India

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Apple Stops Selling Lower-Cost iPhones in India

Apple has reportedly stopped selling iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus in India, meaning anyone in the market for a new Apple smartphone will have to shell out more for a later model.


According to The Economic Times, the strategy indicates Apple is no longer prioritizing shifting iPhones in the country by volume and is instead refocusing efforts on increasing its revenue there.

To that end, Apple's distributors in India are said to be informing retailers that supplies of the above iPhone models have stopped and the new "entry-level" iPhone will be the iPhone 6s. This will increase the starting price of an iPhone in India by almost Rs 8,000 (around $116).

Apple has been assembling the iPhone SE in India as well as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 over the last couple of years. Given the shift in strategy, idle capacity in these factories may now be used to expand production of other models, according to the report.

The decision is said to have been taken after Apple improved its revenue and profit in India by 12 percent over the last year, despite selling less iPhones than the previous year. Apple India’s sales in the April-June quarter went up after it brought in a promotion to drop iPhone XR prices.
"Cupertino does not want Apple India to chase volumes by discounting at the cost of profit," said one leading trade partner of Apple. "These models which are being phased out will increase the average selling price of iPhones in India and boost both profit and revenue." Apple India declined to comment on the matter.
In the Indian market, Apple ranks 11th and accounts for just one percent of India's phone sales, and sold fewer than one million iPhones during the first half of 2018. Comparatively, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi sold more than 19 million during that period, according to data gathered by Counterpoint Research.

According to a recent report, Apple CEO Tim Cook is believed to be working behind the scenes to "remold Apple's failing India strategy," in bid to revamp the company's presence there.

Apple has also been re-focusing efforts in India in hopes of expanding production outside of China in the wake of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Last summer, Apple detailed a new India strategy with official retail stores, overhauled relationships with independent retailers, more frequent sales, and improved apps and services.

Some of these plans have started to come to fruition, as Apple has now finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India.

Tag: India

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Apple Now Exporting Some iPhone 6s and 7 Models Made in India to Europe

Over two years after the first iPhone SE devices were assembled in India, Apple is now exporting some India-made iPhones to European markets. The news comes from three people aware of Apple's plans, who stated that iPhone assembler Wistron recently began exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe (via The Economic Times).


The iPhones are first being built in Wistron's facility in Bangalore, and about 100,000 units per month are being exported. Apple first began this process a few months ago, in a move that should further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.
The other two people, who are senior executives in the industry said that the export volumes were about 70-80% of the total capacity at the facility. Wistron has been making iPhone 6 since the year before and iPhone 7 since the beginning of this year.
According to industry watchers, Apple is said to be treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device sales. The company will start manufacturing higher-end iPhone models locally in India through Foxconn, and as much as 70 to 80 percent of the output of those devices might be exported elsewhere.

Apple has been re-focusing efforts in India in hopes of expanding production outside of China in the wake of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Last summer, Apple detailed a new India strategy with official retail stores, overhauled relationships with independent retailers, more frequent sales, and improved apps and services.

Some of these plans have started to come to fruition, as Apple has now finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India.

Tag: India

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Apple Finalizes List of Locations for First Retail Store in India

Apple has finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg.


The vetted locations are said to include several upscale sites in Mumbai that are comparable to iconic Apple stores on Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London, or the Champs-Elysees in Paris. A final decision on the plans is expected to come "in the next few weeks," said Bloomberg's sources.

In the Indian market, Apple ranks 11th and accounts for just one percent of India's phone sales, selling fewer than one million iPhones during the first half of 2018. Comparatively, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi sold "more than 19 million" during that period, according to data gathered by Counterpoint Research.

In an effort to revamp the company's presence in India, Apple CEO Tim Cook is believed to be working behind-the-scenes to "remold Apple's failing India strategy," according to both current and former Apple employees who spoke to Bloomberg.

This strategy includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians." For retail, the official Apple stores are said to open in 2019 and will eventually include locations in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

While the Indian government's rules for foreign companies opening shops have previously prevented Apple from launching local stores, the company now builds some of its iPhone SE and iPhone 6s models in India, which is believed to help it meet India's rule requiring these companies to manufacture 30 percent of their products locally.

Tag: India

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TikTok Unbanned in India

Tik Tok, which was pulled from the App Store in India last week to comply with a government demand to block downloads over child safety concerns, is allowed to return to the App Store, reports Reuters.

The southern state of Tamil Nadu had asked the Indian government to ban the TikTok app on the grounds that it encouraged pornography and could expose children to sexual predators, leading the government to send a letter to Apple and Google asking the companies to remove the app from their respective App Stores.


Today, after hearing a plea from the app's creator, Bytedance, the state court reversed its decision pushing for the app's ban. An Indian government official told Reuters that once the court's order had been received, it would ask Apple and Google to reinstate the app.

Created by China-based Bytedance Technology, TikTok is designed to let users create and share short-form videos enhanced with digital effects, which has been particularly successful in India. Before being pulled from the App Store, TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in the country.

Bytedance told Indian officials that it was losing up to $500,000 dollars a day during the ban, and that more than 250 jobs were at risk.

Tag: India

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Apple Removes Video Sharing App TikTok From Indian App Store to Comply With State Demand

Apple has removed TikTok from its App Store in India to comply with a government demand to block downloads of the video sharing app over child safety concerns.


TikTok, developed by China-based Bytedance Technology, lets users create and share short-form videos enhanced with digital effects, a formula that has proved a huge hit in India. The app has been downloaded more than 240 million times in the country, according to a report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower in February.

However, on April 3 a court in southern Tamil Nadu state asked the federal Indian government to ban the app on grounds that it encouraged pornography, and warned that sexual predators could target child users. Citing an IT ministry official, Reuters reports that the federal government sent a letter to Apple and Google requesting that the companies abide by the state court's order by pulling TikTok from their respective app stores.

As of this morning, the title is no longer available for download on either platform in the country. In a statement, Google didn't mention the app by name but said it complied with all local state laws. Apple has yet to comment.

Last week, Bytedance challenged the ban order in India's Supreme Court, arguing that it went against freedom of speech rights in India, but when the case was referred back to the state court a judge rejected the request to put the ban order on hold. Bytedance has been asked to give written submissions in the case, which is scheduled to have its next hearing on April 24.

This isn't the first time a country has taken action against TikTok. In February, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined the app's developers $5.7 million to settle allegations of child privacy law violations, after TikTok was accused of collecting personal data from users under the age of 13 without seeking parental consent.

Tag: India

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Foxconn to Begin Production on iPhone X in India This July

Foxconn is set to begin production of the iPhone X in India this July, according to a report by The Economic Times. Production will take place at Foxconn's Chennai plant in eastern India.


According to an official with knowledge of the company's plans, Foxconn hopes to step up production capacity and "diversify to even higher models going forward." Today's report sees Foxconn's plans to move some of its production outside of China begin to take shape, following the manufacturer's trial production of the iPhone X earlier this month.

News about Foxconn's plans to produce high-end iPhones in India emerged late last year. According to a Reuters report, Foxconn invested $356 million to expand an existing plant and take on the new iPhone production, creating as many as 25,000 jobs in the process.

Foxconn has been considering expanding its production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Apple manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's growing India base provides security in the face of Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology.

Previously, Apple partnered with Wistron to produce iPhones in India, including the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s. When building iPhones in India, Apple is able to avoid import duties placed on imported smartphones and their components. More production in the country also helps Apple meet India's 30 percent local sourcing requirement that would allow Apple to open its own local retail stores.

Production of the iPhone X family in India appears to be part of Apple's revamped India strategy, which also includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians." Due to the high price of iPhones in India, and other reasons, Apple has continually struggled in the country, leading to the new strategy.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tags: Foxconn, India

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Apple Music Subscription Prices Slashed in India

Apple has cut the price of all Apple Music plans in India, in a move apparently aimed at fending off rival streaming services like Spotify and YouTube Music, both of which recently launched in the country within the last month.


Apple Music is now being offered for Rs 99 ($1.43) a month, down from the earlier price of Rs 120 ($1.73).

Likewise, a student membership now costs Rs 49 instead of Rs 60, while a family plan has dropped from Rs 190 to Rs 149. Yearly subscriptions meanwhile cost Rs 999 rather than the earlier price of Rs 1,200.

The new price of an Apple Music membership undercuts both Spotify and YouTube Music, whose monthly premium plans start at Rs 119 and Rs 129, respectively.

India is seen as an untapped market for streaming music services, with a population of 1.3 billion people many of whom are only just becoming active internet users.

Home to a thriving and varied multi-lingual music scene, the country already has several local streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana, but with the big international players making their debut in the country, competition appears to be hotting up.

(Via The Indian Express.)


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Apple Cuts iPhone XR Prices in India

Apple has reportedly cut iPhone prices in India by around a quarter, following a similar move by the company in China.

Sources who spoke to Reuters on Thursday said the price of an iPhone XR with 64GB storage has been reduced by at least 17,900 rupees ($259), taking into account a price cut and a credit card cashback campaign.

"Apple is going to change their game," one of the people said, adding the company could also adjust prices for other devices depending on their demand.

On Apple’s India website, the price of the 64 GB iPhone XR was unchanged at 76,900 rupees, but is on sale for less than 59,000 rupees at stores, the people said.
Prices for the other two storage variants of the iPhone XR have also dropped, according to Reuters' sources, who called the pricing a "short-term promotional offer."

With smartphone sales flattening in saturated markets like the U.S., Apple is said to have turned to India for new growth, but with "little success so far," claimed a report in December.

Just one in four Indians own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country.

However, with more than 75 percent of the smartphones sold in the country said to cost less than $250, India remains a very price-sensitive market, and a tough nut to crack for Apple.

According to research firm Canalys, the number of iPhones shipped in India fell 40 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, and Apple's market share in the country dropped to about one percent from about two percent.

Earlier this week, Apple also lowered the prices of several products in China, including the latest iPhones, iPads, and AirPods. The price cuts appeared to be due in part to a reduction in China's value-added tax (VAT), but any price cuts in China should be good news for Apple as it seeks to bolster sales there, too.

Last quarter, Apple issued a revenue warning due to "fewer iPhone upgrades" than it anticipated and "significantly greater" than expected economic weakness in the Greater China region. Apple had already discounted iPhone prices at third-party resellers in China to improve results.

Tag: India

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