Apple’s iPhones will be mass produced in India by Foxconn Technology from this year onwards, marking a shift of the company’s production from China, Bloomberg reported. Terry Gou, the group Chairman of the Taiwanese manufacturing company, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited him to India.
Apple has been producing older models of iPhones in Bengaluru for many years, but it will now expand its manufacturing to the newest models. It was reported earlier this month that Foxconn will start trials of producing iPhone X and iPhone 7 in India before launching a full-scale assembly in its factory in Chennai.
“In the future, we will play a very important role in India’s smartphone industry,” Gou said at an event in Taiwan. “We have moved our production lines there.”
India’s smartphone market is the fastest-growing in the world, leaving behind a stagnated China. Due to Chinese competitors like Xiaomi offering advanced features at lower prices, Apple is losing its market share in the country. It hopes to ramp up its sales in India by manufacturing locally which would let it dodge the 20 percent import duties.
It is unclear how Apple’s foray into manufacturing in India will affect its relationship with China, which has been its production hub for years with Foxconn and other partner companies.
There are two assembly sites of Foxconn in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where it also manufactures Xiaomi and Nokia devices. As the US and China engage in a trade battle, it might be helpful for Apple and Foxconn to find a third market to focus on.
Sources told the wire agency that Foxconn’s Indian assembly line, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, would serve local and export markets before Apple’s new iPhone models in September. Foxconn’s initial investment will be about $300 million to set up, with lined-up investments depending on capacity expansion.