Local production of iPhone 6s underway in India as Apple seeks to avoid import tax

It was first suggested back in January that Apple was planning on beginning iPhone 6s production in India – alongside the iPhone SE – and it is today reported that this is now underway …

The Economic Times carries the report.

Apple has started commercial production of the iPhone 6s in India since last week at the Bengaluru facility of its Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Wistron that has set up a new line for the handsets, two senior industry executives said.

The Cupertino-based maker of iPhones and Mac computers already makes iPhone SE since last May at the Wistron facility, which will now produce two iPhone models locally. Apple was undertaking trial production for the second iPhone model in the 6 series since April and chose iPhone 6s due to its sales potential, the executives said.

Wistron got approval for the new plant back in March.

One of Apple’s reasons for local manufacturing of the iPhone SE has been to avoid import taxes imposed by the Indian government as part of its Made in India initiative. India has been tightening the screws on imports, twice increasing the tax on smartphones, first from 10% to 15%, and later to 20%.

Bringing the iPhone 6s into the local manufacturing program makes sense as the model is seen by many as the sweet-spot of capabilities and price. Counterpoint estimates that the iPhone 6 and 6s between them account for around a third of iPhone sales in India.

Locals hoping for a price drop will be disappointed, however.

The made-in-India iPhone 6s will be only sold in India like iPhone SE since it will take time to scale up capacity. In fact, Apple will continue with the import of iPhone 6s until capacity improves. Hence, there will be no price correction for the locally manufactured units.

Image: Marques Brownlee

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