Over two years after the first iPhone SE devices were assembled in India, Apple is now exporting some India-made iPhones to European markets. The news comes from three people aware of Apple's plans, who stated that iPhone assembler Wistron recently began exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe (via The Economic Times).
The iPhones are first being built in Wistron's facility in Bangalore, and about 100,000 units per month are being exported. Apple first began this process a few months ago, in a move that should further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.
The other two people, who are senior executives in the industry said that the export volumes were about 70-80% of the total capacity at the facility. Wistron has been making iPhone 6 since the year before and iPhone 7 since the beginning of this year.
According to industry watchers, Apple is said to be treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device sales. The company will start manufacturing higher-end iPhone models locally in India through Foxconn, and as much as 70 to 80 percent of the output of those devices might be exported elsewhere.
Apple has been re-focusing efforts in India in hopes of expanding production outside of China in the wake of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Last summer, Apple detailed a new India strategy with official retail stores, overhauled relationships with independent retailers, more frequent sales, and improved apps and services.
Some of these plans have started to come to fruition, as Apple has now finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India.