iPhone Production in India Suspended as Population of 1.3 Billion Begins 21-Day Lockdown

Apple's iPhone factories in India are closing temporarily, after the Indian government ordered the country's population of 1.3 billion people to stay at home for at least three weeks in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.


The factories in India have suspended production until at least April 14 following the nationwide lockdown ordered by President by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As reported by Bloomberg:
Foxconn and Wistron Corp. have suspended production at their India plants, which include the assembly of some Apple Inc. ‌iPhone‌ models, in order to comply with a nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is suspending operations until April 14, the company said in a text message to Bloomberg News. It intends to resume India production based on further government announcements. A Wistron representative said the company is also adhering to the order, while declining to comment on exactly what products are affected.
The 21-day lockdown was announced by Modi via a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening. "For a few days forget what it means to go out. Today's decision of a nationwide lockdown draws a line outside your home," the PM said.

Wistron's new plant in India was poised to assemble printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones in April, a first for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that will save Apple having to pay import taxes on the vital Indian smartphone component.

Wistron's other plant, located in central Bengaluru, has been pumping out ‌‌iPhone‌‌ SE, ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 6S and ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 7 models since 2017. Wistron's larger rival, Foxconn, began making iPhone XR models in India last year. Apple also has an office with thousands of employees in Hyderabad, working on Apple Maps data.

All of the plants and offices are likely to be impacted by the virus-fighting measures, which come into force just as Apple planned to ramp up efforts to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India for the first time.

Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year with 41 percent annual growth, according to recent market research data. India also recently relaxed rules on local sourcing of components, paving the way for Apple to open an online store in India later this year and its first retail store in the country by next year.
This article, "iPhone Production in India Suspended as Population of 1.3 Billion Begins 21-Day Lockdown" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Report Examines Challenges Apple Has Faced in Expanding Manufacturing in India

The Information has published a detailed look into the challenges that Apple has faced in expanding its manufacturing operations in India, including strict labor laws, unsatisfactory health and safety standards, and protectionist trade policies that have resulted in rising tariffs on smartphone components.


An excerpt from the paywalled report:
For example, one Indian supplier Apple approached in 2018 was Superpacks, which operated a packaging factory in Bangalore. Apple sent auditors to assess whether its supplier responsibility practices were up to Apple's standards. The audits revealed dozens of violations. The site had no safety measures for storing chemicals, lacked monitoring for noise and wastewater, and didn't have several environmental and construction permits. It didn't properly test drinking water for workers and the site lacked a fire hydrant system, according to a person close to Apple.

Apple spent months pushing Superpacks to fix the violations. However, the Indian company stopped giving updates and missed deadlines for fixes. Apple ultimately didn't give it a business contract. Superpacks didn't respond to a request for comment.
Apple has reached agreements with some suppliers in India, such as Wistron, which assembles the iPhone 7 in the country. However, the majority of Apple's manufacturing remains in China, with recent issues such as the U.S.-China trade war and the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak emphasizing the need for diversification.

As the report notes, India recently relaxed rules on local sourcing of components, paving the way for Apple to open an online store in India later this year and its first retail store in the country by next year.

Full Article: Inside Apple's Search for an Indian Supply Chain by The Information

Tag: India

This article, "Report Examines Challenges Apple Has Faced in Expanding Manufacturing in India" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Hikes Price of Several iPhone Models in India to Offset Increased Import Duties

Apple has raised the price of some iPhone models in India, following an increase in import duties that were recently announced in the country's federal budget.


The iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 8 and ‌iPhone 8‌ Plus will all see price increases of 2 percent effective Monday to offset the cost of the import duties. The hikes are in light of an increase in the basic customs duty rate and the withdrawal of an earlier exemption from the Social Welfare Surcharge.

According to The Hindu's Business Line, smartphones had been exempted from the 10 per cent social welfare surcharge, but this will now be reimposed for imported handsets. In addition, Apple will also be required to pay 20 per cent basic customs duty for the devices.

The Indian government has also increased import duty on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBs) from 10 percent to 20 percent, while import duty on chargers has increased from 15 percent to 20 percent.

The iPhone XR and ‌iPhone‌ 7 have escaped price increases, presumably because they are being manufactured locally in India by Apple partners Wistron and Foxconn. The iPhone 11 appears to have also escaped the price hikes, although it's not clear why.

Last month it was reported that Wistron's new plant in India plans to begin assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones by April, which could see some ‌iPhone‌ prices drop again. A PCB serves as a bed for key ‌‌iPhone‌‌ components like processors, storage, and memory, and usually accounts for about half the cost of a smartphone.

Apple has been working for years to establish a presence in India. In a recent shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company's plans to open an online store in India in 2020 and a retail store in 2021.

In August 2019, India eased the rules that had kept Apple from offering its products in first-party stores and an online Apple Store. So far, Apple device sales in India have only been available through third-party retailers, because foreign investment rules and regulations didn't permit Apple to sell devices in the country.

Tag: India

This article, "Apple Hikes Price of Several iPhone Models in India to Offset Increased Import Duties" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Was the Fastest Growing Premium Smartphone Brand of 2019 in India

Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year with 41 percent annual growth, according to new data gathered by Counterpoint Research.


Premium smartphone shipments in the country reached a record high in 2019, increasing by 29 percent year over year. The growth is said to have been driven by affordable premium smartphones, aggressive offers like significant price cuts, and user upgrades.

In Apple's case, growth in the fourth quarter was driven by multiple price cuts on iPhone XR throughout the year. The ‌iPhone XR‌ was the number one ultra-premium smartphone model in India followed by Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus and China's OnePlus 7 Pro, according to the report.

Apple also oversaw the fastest rollout of its flagship devices in India, with the iPhone 11 series introduced at a lower price point than the previous year's ‌iPhone XR‌ launch. This reportedly helped to gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India.
"We expect the strongest 2020 for Apple in India as it has expanded its production capacity in India and is now manufacturing iPhones on a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) basis. These activities will help the brand to offer competitive pricing in a price-sensitive market like India," Counterpoint said.
OnePlus remained the number one premium brand for the full calendar year, with shipments growing 28 percent year over year and the brand capturing one third of India's premium mobile market. The Chinese brand also became the first ever premium smartphone brand to cross two million shipments in a year in 2019.

Meanwhile, Samsung dropped to second position and declined 2 percentage points year over year in the premium segment. The Galaxy S10 Plus was the top-selling flagship for Samsung in 2019. As a result, Samsung's ultra-premium segment shipments grew by 24 percent year over year.

After a strong year in India, Apple is now pursuing its aim of opening an online Apple Store in the country to start official online sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more starting in the third quarter of 2020.

In August 2019, India eased the rules that had kept Apple from offering its products in first-party stores and an online Apple Store. Apple is now said to be working on opening up retail locations in India, with a store in Mumbai in the works.

Tag: India

This article, "Apple Was the Fastest Growing Premium Smartphone Brand of 2019 in India" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Wistron to Assemble Key iPhone Component in India, Saving Apple From Major Hike in Import Duties

Wistron's new plant in India plans to begin assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones, a first for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that will save Apple having to pay import taxes on the vital smartphone component.


Reuters reports that the PCB assembly will take place in Wistron's new iPhone plant, which is about 40 miles outside of Bengaluru, when it becomes operational by April. Wistron's other plant, located in central Bengaluru, has been pumping out ‌iPhone‌ SE, ‌iPhone‌ 6S and ‌iPhone‌ 7 models since 2017.

A PCB serves as a bed for key ‌iPhone‌ components like processors, storage, and memory, and usually accounts for about half the cost of a smartphone.

That makes PCB assembly in the country a major boon for Apple, as it avoids taxes levied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to boost local manufacturing and create new jobs. On Saturday, India's federal budget revealed that the country will begin taxing imports of populated PCBs at 20 percent from April, up from the previous rate of 10 percent.

Wistron's larger rival, Foxconn, which began making iPhone XR models in India last year, already assembles PCBs locally. India is still largely dependent on China for supplies of other smartphone parts like display panels and camera modules.

The positive move by Wistron comes as Apple starts ramping up efforts to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India for the first time.

Up until recently, Apple device sales in India had to be done through third-party retailers, as Apple didn't have permission to sell devices in the country due to foreign investment rules and regulations.

However, in August 2019, India eased its rules and Apple now plans to open an online Apple Store in India to start official online sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more in the country starting in the third quarter of 2020.

Tag: India

This article, "Wistron to Assemble Key iPhone Component in India, Saving Apple From Major Hike in Import Duties" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple to Start Online iPhone, iPad and Mac Sales in India in Third Quarter

Apple will be opening an online Apple Store in India to start official online sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more in the country starting in the third quarter of 2020, reports TechCrunch.

The news comes courtesy of a "source familiar with the matter," and Apple's online store rollout is taking a "little longer than previously expected." Apple originally wanted to begin online sales in the country in the first quarter of 2020.


Apple last summer said that it was "eager" to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India. Apple is still working on the logistics of setting up the store, with the quarter between July and September set as the new deadline.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take a trip to India when Apple is ready to begin online sales.

At the current time, Apple device sales in India are done through third-party retailers as Apple did not have permission to sell devices in the country due to foreign investment rules and regulations.

In August 2019, India eased the rules that had kept Apple from offering its products in first-party stores and an online Apple Store. Apple is now said to be working on opening up retail locations in India, with a store in Mumbai in the works.

Tag: India

This article, "Apple to Start Online iPhone, iPad and Mac Sales in India in Third Quarter" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Partner Wistron Opens Third iPhone Manufacturing Facility in India

Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in India is set to significantly boost its overall production capacity, following the construction of a third plant in the country.


Wistron won approval to build the new smartphone factory in March 2019 and has already completed trial production at the plant, thanks to collaborative efforts by the Taiwanese firm's local team.

According to Wistron company chairman Simon Lin, local talent will fill the top- to mid-tier management roles at the plant, which will undertake production of lower-priced iPhones initially, possibly starting with the iPhone 8.

Wistron has two other plants in India, both in Bengaluru, that have been producing ‌iPhone‌ SE and ‌iPhone‌ 6s devices for sale in the local market.

Meanwhile, DigiTimes reports that Apple has continued expanding its mid-tier ‌iPhone‌ production in India, with partner Foxconn already manufacturing iPhone XR devices there.

Apple has been setting up ‌‌iPhone‌‌ manufacturing hubs in India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi began promoting his "Made in India" initiative, which requires that 30 percent of products sold by foreign companies be manufactured or produced within the country.

India is the world's second largest smartphone market, but just one in four Indians are said to own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country.

Tags: India, Wistron

This article, "Apple Partner Wistron Opens Third iPhone Manufacturing Facility in India" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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

This article, "Apple to Invest $1 Billion in India to Boost Export Manufacturing" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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

This article, "Apple Gets Green Light to Start Online Sales in India Thanks to Rule Change" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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

This article, "Apple Stops Selling Lower-Cost iPhones in India" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums