Apple supplier Wistron has apparently begun trial production of the iPhone 12 already at a new facility near Bengaluru. Wistron has reportedly set about hiring as many as 10,000 new staff for manufacturing facilities in India.
The iPhone 12 would be the seventh iPhone model to be manufactured in India, but the first high-end device to do so. Until recently, iPhone production in India was limited to lower-cost and older models, and production of the iPhone SE in India is expected to begin by the end of 2020. Business Standard‘s sources said that the new facility in Narasapura would be for the manufacture of the iPhone 12, and its existing plant in Bengaluru would be used to produce the iPhone SE.
Apple is aggressively stepping up its India-based manufacturing efforts as it seeks to move away from supply chain concentration in China. Apple suppliers Pegatron and Samsung are expected to set up production facilities in India, and Foxconn has announced that it plans to invest as much as $1 billion in India, having already established its first manufacturing plant in the country.
Initiatives such as the “production linked incentive” (PLI) scheme have made India-based production attractive to big tech companies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent “Made in India” initiative also requires 30 percent of products sold by foreign companies to be manufactured or produced within the country.
Increased production in India is believed to allow Apple to price iPhones more competitively in the country. India is also the world’s second-largest smartphone market, but just one in four Indians are said to own a smartphone, providing Apple with the opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers, while also diversifying its supply chains and moving away from its heavy reliance on China.