Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly stressed how important India is as a market for his company. He is perhaps the first Apple CEO to make an India trip for business and someone most optimistic about how 4G would change India’s mobile landscape. Apple’s India focus has come at a time when China started to slow down. The Cupertino giant has been lobbying the Indian government to allow importing of refurbished iPhones in India since long. Citing environmental concerns, the government has so far denied this request.
However Apple has a major card to play – setting up manufacturing in India. In exchange of enough Tax breaks and favours from the Indian government, Apple is promising to setup some manufacturing units in India. This could be huge for India, given how prestigious brand Apple is when it comes to quality hardware and the scale that it brings.
One major reason for Apple being considered a niche product in India is its price. Even the 2014 launched iPhone 6 Price in India is hovering close to Rs 30,000 (after deals & discounts). That too with just 16GB on board storage. If Apple can manufacture products in India with enough subsidy from the government, we can hope that Apple would price its products at a more affordable price.
A recent tweet by Karnataka minister started the conversation about Apple’s Bengaluru manufacturing plans. While the tweet was later deleted, it sure gives a very strong hint about Apple’s plans. Of course, Tim won’t be happy about Indians always leaking its plans 😛
Manufacturing in India would allow Apple to lower some costs and offer iPhones maybe 10% cheaper than current market rates. It would also help them refurbish mobile phones in India and bring them back to the market at very attractive rates. Apart from these, it may also help Apple reduce its dependency on Chinese manufacturers and government.
With Trump in US taking a anti-China stance on several issues, an easy way for Chinese govt to get back at US would be to hurt its corporations doing business in China. Either ways, no matter how that pans out, India is getting some good focus from Apple in coming years. You may hope for a Dual SIM iPhone coming up sometime soon, but we would bet that’s still unlikely.