Mobile

Apple to assemble top-end iPhones in India

Apple will begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn as early as 2019, the first time the Taiwanese contract manufacturer will have made the product in the country, a source told Reuters. Fred Katayama reports.

(Reuters) – Here’s one way to skirt the blow from a trade war with China. A source tells Reuters Apple will begin assembling its most pricey iPhones in India. It’ll do that through the local unit of the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Foxconn. Those models will include the flagship iPhone X family.

Digital Trends editor-in-chief, Jeremy Kaplan:

DIGITAL TRENDS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JEREMY KAPLAN,

“India for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s a huge market, and Apple’s barely penetrated, largely because Apple sells a lot of very high end, expensive products. So in chance, this might lower the cost of things. For another thing, it’s an opportunity to mitigate the over-reliance on China and on Asia in general. Bringing things down into India should perhaps mitigate some of that risk.”

The source says assembly could start as early as 2019 at Foxconn’s plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. That state’s Industries Minister told Reuters Foxconn will invest roughly $350 million to expand its factory there, creating as many as 25,000 jobs.

It’s not known if any of the iPhone assembly is being shifted from existing Foxconn plants in China. Expanding assembly beyond China is critical for Apple in its bid to reduce the risks of a U.S.-China trade war. Producing more phones locally will help it save costly duties. Until now, Apple had only been assembling its lower-cost SE and 6S models in India.

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