Seven months after it was launched in India, Apple is expected to start manufacturing the iPhone 13 at the Foxconn plant in Sriperumbudur near Chennai from April, according to sources.
The phones will be for both the domestic and export market.
The production of the iPhone 13 in the Chennai plant was meant to start from January but had to be postponed after Apple suspended production following protests in December by women workers about food poisoning.
An Apple spokesperson did not respond to an e-mail query.
The factory was put on ‘probation’ until Apple took corrective action.
It re-opened in mid-January but production could not be rolled out until February.
Foxconn has to achieve a minimum production value of Rs 8000 crore for 2022-23 over and above the base year as part of its commitment under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.
In 2021-22, its target is half – Rs 4,000 crore.
Foxconn manufactures both the iPhone 11 (a best seller in India according to analysts) and the iPhone 12.
It has also committed itself to exporting 60 per cent of the phones it manufactures for exports in five years under the PLI scheme.
According to Techarc which tracks volume sales of Apple phones, the iPhone 13 accounts were sub 20 per cent of its total sales.
In contrast, the iPhone 11 is the workhorse, accounting for xx`60-65 per cent of volume sales.
“The numbers for the iPhone 13 are pretty good considering the fact that it does not have any substantial differentiation.
“The newly launched iPhone SE, however, has very limited appeal amongst consumers,” said Techarc founder Faisal Kawoosa.
He said that in India, the trend has always been that the best-selling phone is the one which is two versions behind, such as the iPhone 11 after the iPhone 13.
Apple has just started pre-booking of its new iPhone SE which is priced at Rs 43,900 but this model, made by Wistron (another of Apple’s contract manufacturers) is mostly for export and sells in limited numbers in India.
Apple hit revenues of $3.3 billion between 1st October 2020 to 25th September 2021 from India, doubling its revenues.
Yet this still represents less than 1 per cent of its total global revenues.
Despite this low figure, India remains important, not only as an alternative global hub for manufacturing to China, but as a clearly discernible domestic market.
That’s why the iPhone 13 was launched on the same day in India as in other key global markets such as the US, China, the UAE, Germany, and Australia. Before, India used to have to wait three to four weeks before a new phone was available.
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