Apple’s flagship range of iPhones (the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and XS Max) will be assembled in India by Foxconn as early as 2019, sources familiar to the matter informs Reuters. This will be the first time the Taiwanese manufacturer will have to manufacture flagship iPhones in India.
Foxconn is expected to invest 25 billion Indian rupees RM1.48 billion) to expand its Indian plant that will be producing the flagship iPhones. Currently the plant which is located in the town of Sriperumbudur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu produces phones for Xiaomi, OnePlus and Gionee.
In addition to the expansion of the plant to cope with the increase in production volumes the investment is expected to create as many as 25,000 jobs.
The decision to move iPhone assembly to India could also help Foxconn and Apple to limit the impact of an ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Assembling phones locally in India would also reduce the cost of import taxes for Apple allowing it to be competitive in the Indian market.
The flagship iPhones are not the first iPhones to be assembled in India. The iPhone SE and iPhone 6S were also assembled in the country by a plant operated by another major Taiwan-based manufacturer, Wistron Corporation, in the Bengaluru technology hub.
It is possible that Apple would also re-start the production of the iPhone X in the Indian Foxconn plant in a move to capture a bigger chunk of India’s rapidly growing mobile phone market.