Following reports from last month about Apple preparing to manufacture the iPhone SE in India, the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is adding its 6 and 6s models to the lineup that will be assembled there.
A government official from the state of Karnataka said that Taiwanese firm Wistron will begin manufacturing all three handset models at a plant in the capital of Bangalore, starting with the iPhone 6 and 6s in the next four to six weeks and subsequently the SE in the coming three months.
That should help bring down the cost of Apple devices in India, where the Cupertino-based company’s devices have historically commanded a high price, partly due to import taxes. When the iPhone 7 launched in India, it cost roughly 40 percent more than it did in the US, at a price of $903 versus $649.
According to CMR analyst Faisal Kawoosa, manufacturing locally could see iPhone prices drop by as much as $100.
It’s interesting to note that the iPhone 6 is reportedly going to be manufactured here, as the device is nearly three years old at this point. It’s even been removed from Apple’s India site to make way for the more recent 6s and 7 models. Plus, the company is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 this September with a 5.8-inch OLED screen.
The inclusion of the cheaper SE – which was launched last March at $399 – is understandable, as it just got a storage bump to a minimum of 32GB at the same starting price and is a good entry-level offering for an emerging market like India.
With lower prices, Apple might just have a chance at competing with the likes of Samsung and Lenovo, which currently hold 25 percent and 9 percent of India’s smartphone market share.