“Foxconn will begin with the iPhoneX (range) from the Chennai plant. The plans are to step up production capacity and diversify to even higher models going forward,” said an official privy to the company’s plans, on conditions of anonymity.
Sustained increase in manufacturing will depend on, among other factors, the continuation of a favourable incentive regime into the next government, the official said. Mails sent to Foxconn and Apple seeking comment remained unanswered.
The company began its India manufacturing journey through another Taiwanese company Wistron, which had started with the iPhone SE from its factory near Bengaluru two years ago and later advanced to iPhone 6S model. Wistron now makes iPhone 7, a sign analysts foresee as a bump-up in local manufacture of multinational technology companies keen on the Indian market. Around 290 million handsets were assembled in India in 2018 up from 58 million in 2014, according to data from the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association.
“In the short-term, the Differential Duty and the Phased Manufacturing Programme worked as far as import substitution is concerned. Now the challenge is to move from 290 million to 500 million phones and then to one billion by 2025,” Pankaj Mohindroo, National president for ICEA, said.