Apple could start selling made in India iPhone XS and iPhone XR models in the country starting August, according to a new Reuters report. Apple already sells the iPhone SE, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 here, that are made locally but this will be the first time the Cupertino major brings its high-end iPhone X family iPhones into this ambit – potentially leading to a drop in prices. This means, buying a high-end iPhone may not be a distant dream for many, come August.
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market, but Apple has been unable to make the most of it – the company has a meagre 1 per cent market share in the country. Making in India should serve two purposes – cheaper iPhones for the Indian market and India then serving as an export hub for global markets, particularly China that’s in the middle of a trade-war with the US.
The iPhone XR is currently the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s new lineup - but it cost significantly more than what one would pay for it say in the US at launch.
In what was clearly a first for Apple, the Cupertino major slashed the price of the iPhone XR in India recently by a massive Rs 17,000. Apple had never slashed the price of its next-generation iPhones prior to this - even in a market like India which is infamous for being the most expensive market to buy an iPhone.
The iPhone XR which was launched at a starting price of Rs 76,900 for the base variant with 64GB storage now starts at Rs 59,900 in India. The top-end variant of the iPhone XR with 256GB storage which was launched at a price of Rs 91,900 now sells for Rs 74,900 in India. The 128GB variant of the iPhone XR which was launched at Rs 81,900 now sells for Rs 64,900.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max pricing remains unchanged though.
Making in India should help Apple lower the prices of the iPhone XR further, while a potential reduction in the price of the iPhone XS would bring its flagship product within the reach of more buyers – Apple desperately needs that in India.
Apple made a big deal of the India-made iPhone 6S even though it’s an iPhone that has clearly aged – getting newer, more expensive iPhone models on-board the make in India bandwagon should also work well for its reputation, in a market where Apple products are seen largely as status symbols.
“Expanding local assembly will help Apple save on high taxes levied on the import of fully-built devices, as well as meet local sourcing norms for opening its own retail stores in India,” the report adds.