Apple starts trial production of iPhone 13 in India

Apple has started trial production of its flagship iPhone 13 in the Foxconn plant near Chennai as the US technology major readies to make almost all its top-selling smartphone models in the country, two industry executives said. The company expects to start commercial production of iPhone 13 in India for both the domestic market and exports by February, they said.
Apple has secured supply of semiconductor chips – which are in short supply across the world – that has helped it plan expansion of production into India.

Production of iPhone 13 in India will help Apple to improve supplies of the model into its global markets since around 20-30% of what is produced in India are usually exported, the executives said.

Apple and Foxconn did not respond to email queries as of press time Monday.
Meanwhile, supplies of top-selling iPhones have improved, easing an acute shortage in the Indian market, the sources said.In the iPhone 13 series, iPhone 13 is the largest selling model in the country, and the company does not plan to make iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max here.

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In overall sales, lower priced models such as iPhone 11 and 12 contribute the most in India.

Apple already produces iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 in the Foxconn plant and iPhone SE in the Wistron plant in Bengaluru. As per estimates, Apple produces almost 70% of the smartphones it sells in India within the country.

Market tracker IDC India’s research director Navkendar Singh said Apple has been locally manufacturing a new iPhone model within 3-4 months of its launch in the country. The company had launched iPhone 13 in the country in end-September, in the first phase of its global rollout.

“A lot of local production scaling up will depend on component availability,” Singh said. “The local production of iPhone 13 in India may ease a bit the low supplies in the country.”

As per Counterpoint Research, Apple was the fastest growing smartphone brand in the July-September quarter with 212% year-on-year growth and led the premium smartphone market (handsets priced above Rs 30,000) with a 44% share. The brand also maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (handsets priced above Rs 45,000) with a 74% share.

Apple had also become the top 5G smartphone brand in the premium segment for the first time, it said.

Apple has been on a roll in India since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with many consumers buying iPhones or iPad tablets or Mac computers due to work and study from home. iPhone sales in calendar 2021 is expected to be 4-5 million units, up from 3 million units in 2020, despite supply issues.

Apple India increased its revenue from operations by a five year high of 68% in 2020-21 to Rs 22,845 crore while net profit surged by 32% at Rs 1,226 crore, as per its latest regulatory filings.

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