Source: Julian O'hayon

The make in India initiative has received a major boost. Apple is the latest smartphone manufacturer which will start manufacturing its latest budget smartphone, the iPhone SE 2020 in India. This move can be seen as a win-win for everyone involved. We, consumers, get cheaper iPhones, Apple gets more sales and the whole India benefits from the Make in India thing.

The festival season is bound to increase demands for smartphones spanning over all ranges and prices. These smartphones will be valuable additions to the lineups of their respective companies. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the average person might push off their smartphone purchases for a while. The lions share of the demand would come from teenagers buying their first phones and people who have phones which no longer happen to be in working conditions. Apple has not taken a back seat in the race to compete with other companies. It will release its flagship phone in September after already launching the new iPhone SE. 

The iPhone SE is a budget smartphone that basically mimics the iPhone 6s. The recently launched Apple iPhone SE is up for purchase at the discounted price of Rs. 36,999. This price point is extremely high especially when the smartphone carries a design that is more than half a dozen generations old. A variety of smartphones can be purchased in the smartphone market at that price point which offers nearly premium features with a full display design with facial recognition. Apple’s SE appears to be a joke to anyone who was truly expecting to buy a decent iPhone with a modern design at a reasonable price. Apple has non-verbally expressed that you have to pay staggering amounts for premium features and anything less is basically not worth having by repackaging a 2015 smartphone and selling it as the new SE. 

However, there is again a lot of excitement in certain quarters about the Apple iPhone models being manufactured in India. At this time, the latest generations of the Apple iPhone SE as well as the iPhone 11 series are being manufactured in India. It is being seen as a boost to the Make in India initiative which was set forth by the honorable Prime Minister. The initiative has been a huge success and follows India’s long term goal to be a self-sustained economy. The goal has proven that there is strength in numbers and India with its largest customer base is the best country for Apple to expand its operations to. his Made in India push could be crucial as we head into the festive season sales that lie ahead. Apple’s partners in India, Foxconn and Wistron are now manufacturing and assembling the iPhones at their facilities in the country.

Secondly, we also do not know at this time what sort of manufacturing and assembling capacity we are looking at. It is likely that while the Made in India units will be arriving in stores in the coming weeks ahead of the Diwali festival sales, Apple will still be significantly reliant on importing iPhone units as it does now, at least for some time to come. A lot will depend on the demand, and how many units the Foxconn and Wistron facilities in India are able to manufacture. The big question happens to be, Apple’s global pricing strategy. Apple has maintained this pricing strategy to keep the prices of its products the same across the world so expecting a discount is still a long way off. Apple is also making the iPhone 11 in India, at the Foxconn plant near Chennai. It is the first time Apple is making its latest flagship phone in the country, for the line-up that includes the iPhone 11, the iPhone SE, and the iPhone XR on sale in India at this time.

Foxconn will be investing as much as $1 billion to further enhance the manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, over a period of three years. The same plant also manufactured the previous generation of the iPhone SE before it was discontinued. Apple’s focus on Make in India comes at a time when the company is reducing its reliance on the manufacturing facilities based in China. There is pressure from the Trump administration in the US, as a fallout of the trade war between the two countries and the COVID pandemic.

“We are fully pushing ahead with next steps there (in India), and maybe in a few months’ time we can reveal on our website the next steps and report back to everyone. We’ll have further investment there,” Liu Young-Way, Chairman of Foxconn, had said during the company’s AGM in June.