Apple’s production partner Wistron has received a go-ahead from the Karnataka state government to construct a new assembly factory, according to a government document received by Reuters. Wistron will invest approximately $105 million on the land and the factory, where smartphones, IoT products, and biotech devices will be made.
The land allocation is lower than 50-100 acres requested by Wistron earlier. The report says that it was not immediately possible for officials to provide the requested acreage, but Wistron has been assured that the allocated land will be more than enough to meet requirements.
Wistron to assemble Apple iPhone SE, iPhone 6s in India
Wistron told the Indian government that the new facility will create nearly 6,000 new jobs. The new plant will also be used for the production of Apple devices, particularly local versions of the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6s. Although the chances are that the iPhone 6 will not be actively manufactured by the time the factory is functional, Apple will be selling it to select developing countries and utilize the old hardware to make a low-cost iPhone in India.
The Karnataka Wistron factory began assembling the iPhone SE last year and Indian officials had hoped that this will bring down the price, but Apple will probably not cut prices by much because it wants to maintain those higher margins. The iPhone SE models assembled and sold in India are marked as “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in India.”
Apple to open flagship retail stores in Indian metro cities
Apple is targeting the bustling cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi to open up flagship stores. Apart from this, the company is also looking to expand the Apple Authorized Reseller program in the country. Now, why would a tech company like Apple be interested in expanding in India? Currently, India is the second-largest smartphone market when it comes to the number of units sold, with the largest market being China.
Additionally, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that India is a lucrative smartphone market, but the company is still trying to obtain more understanding about what buyers want and what sort of product will they enjoy using.