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'India' Articles

Apple Was the Fastest Growing Premium Smartphone Brand of 2019 in India

Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year with 41 percent annual growth, according to new data gathered by Counterpoint Research. Premium smartphone shipments in the country reached a record high in 2019, increasing by 29 percent year over year. The growth is said to have been driven by affordable premium smartphones, aggressive offers like significant price cuts, and user upgrades. In Apple's case, growth in the fourth quarter was driven by multiple price cuts on iPhone XR throughout the year. The ‌iPhone XR‌ was the number one ultra-premium smartphone model in India followed by Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus and China's OnePlus 7 Pro, according to the report. Apple also oversaw the fastest rollout of its flagship devices in India, with the iPhone 11 series introduced at a lower price point than the previous year's ‌iPhone XR‌ launch. This reportedly helped to gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India. "We expect the strongest 2020 for Apple in India as it has expanded its production capacity in India and is now manufacturing iPhones on a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) basis. These activities will help the brand to offer competitive pricing in a price-sensitive market like India," Counterpoint said.OnePlus remained the number one premium brand for the full calendar year, with shipments growing 28 percent year over year and the brand capturing one third of India's premium mobile market. The Chinese brand also became the first ever premium smartphone brand to cross two million shipments in a year in 2019.

Wistron to Assemble Key iPhone Component in India, Saving Apple From Major Hike in Import Duties

Wistron's new plant in India plans to begin assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones, a first for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that will save Apple having to pay import taxes on the vital smartphone component. Reuters reports that the PCB assembly will take place in Wistron's new iPhone plant, which is about 40 miles outside of Bengaluru, when it becomes operational by April. Wistron's other plant, located in central Bengaluru, has been pumping out ‌iPhone‌ SE, ‌iPhone‌ 6S and ‌iPhone‌ 7 models since 2017. A PCB serves as a bed for key ‌iPhone‌ components like processors, storage, and memory, and usually accounts for about half the cost of a smartphone. That makes PCB assembly in the country a major boon for Apple, as it avoids taxes levied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to boost local manufacturing and create new jobs. On Saturday, India's federal budget revealed that the country will begin taxing imports of populated PCBs at 20 percent from April, up from the previous rate of 10 percent. Wistron's larger rival, Foxconn, which began making iPhone XR models in India last year, already assembles PCBs locally. India is still largely dependent on China for supplies of other smartphone parts like display panels and camera modules. The positive move by Wistron comes as Apple starts ramping up efforts to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India for the first time. Up until recently, Apple device sales in India had to be done through third-party retailers, as Apple didn't have permission to sell devices in the

Apple to Start Online iPhone, iPad and Mac Sales in India in Third Quarter

Apple will be opening an online Apple Store in India to start official online sales of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more in the country starting in the third quarter of 2020, reports TechCrunch. The news comes courtesy of a "source familiar with the matter," and Apple's online store rollout is taking a "little longer than previously expected." Apple originally wanted to begin online sales in the country in the first quarter of 2020. Apple last summer said that it was "eager" to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India. Apple is still working on the logistics of setting up the store, with the quarter between July and September set as the new deadline. Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take a trip to India when Apple is ready to begin online sales. At the current time, Apple device sales in India are done through third-party retailers as Apple did not have permission to sell devices in the country due to foreign investment rules and regulations. In August 2019, India eased the rules that had kept Apple from offering its products in first-party stores and an online Apple Store. Apple is now said to be working on opening up retail locations in India, with a store in Mumbai in the

Apple Partner Wistron Opens Third iPhone Manufacturing Facility in India

Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in India is set to significantly boost its overall production capacity, following the construction of a third plant in the country. Wistron won approval to build the new smartphone factory in March 2019 and has already completed trial production at the plant, thanks to collaborative efforts by the Taiwanese firm's local team. According to Wistron company chairman Simon Lin, local talent will fill the top- to mid-tier management roles at the plant, which will undertake production of lower-priced iPhones initially, possibly starting with the iPhone 8. Wistron has two other plants in India, both in Bengaluru, that have been producing ‌iPhone‌ SE and ‌iPhone‌ 6s devices for sale in the local market. Meanwhile, DigiTimes reports that Apple has continued expanding its mid-tier ‌iPhone‌ production in India, with partner Foxconn already manufacturing iPhone XR devices there. Apple has been setting up ‌‌iPhone‌‌ manufacturing hubs in India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi began promoting his "Made in India" initiative, which requires that 30 percent of products sold by foreign companies be manufactured or produced within the country. India is the world's second largest smartphone market, but just one in four Indians are said to own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country.

Apple to Invest $1 Billion in India to Boost Export Manufacturing

Apple is set to invest $1 billion in India as it gets ready to export its "Made in India" iPhones, according to a new report out today. Times of India says Foxconn is the main investment partner in Apple's latest push in the country, with the Taiwanese assembler's factory in Chennai to be used to make Apple products for shipping to global markets. A previous report claimed as much as 70 to 80 percent of devices assembled by Foxconn in India are expected to be exported elsewhere. Apple had initially trialed limited local production of some iPhone models in India via Wistron's Bangalore factory, but now it's adding its other big Taiwanese manufacturing partner to the mix. The source said "testing is under way" for the products that have been made in India, and added that "Apple is also seeking clarity" on export incentives that the government currently offers. In July it was reported that Wistron had recently begun exporting some iPhone 6s and ‌iPhone‌ 7 models from India to Europe, in a move intended to further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China. Back in August, India eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which had long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Before the change, Apple had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices. However, according to industry watchers, Apple is said to be taking the long view and treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device

Apple Gets Green Light to Start Online Sales in India Thanks to Rule Change

Apple is set to start online sales of Apple products in India "within months," according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple has not previously been able to sell its devices in India due to foreign investment rules and regulations. India on Wednesday eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which has long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Instead, Apple has had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices. Apple is now planning to begin iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales online "in the coming months," though no specific target launch date for sales was specified by Bloomberg. Now that the rules have changed, Apple is also set to begin opening up retail stores in India in the future and already has retail locations in the works. A new store in Mumbai is in development and is likely set to open next year. Even prior to the rule change, Apple was working with the Indian government to get permission to open up stores in India. Over the course of the last few years, Apple started manufacturing some lower-cost ‌iPhone‌ models in India to meet local investment requirements. India is an important market for Apple, as it is a country where Apple devices have low penetration due to high costs from import tariffs. The changes will make Apple devices more affordable to Indian consumers and could grow Apple's footprint in the

Apple Stops Selling Lower-Cost iPhones in India

Apple has reportedly stopped selling iPhone SE, ‌iPhone‌ 6, ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus, and ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus in India, meaning anyone in the market for a new Apple smartphone will have to shell out more for a later model. According to The Economic Times, the strategy indicates Apple is no longer prioritizing shifting iPhones in the country by volume and is instead refocusing efforts on increasing its revenue there. To that end, Apple's distributors in India are said to be informing retailers that supplies of the above ‌iPhone‌ models have stopped and the new "entry-level" ‌iPhone‌ will be the ‌iPhone‌ 6s. This will increase the starting price of an ‌iPhone‌ in India by almost Rs 8,000 (around $116). Apple has been assembling the ‌iPhone‌ SE in India as well as the ‌iPhone‌ 6s and ‌iPhone‌ 7 over the last couple of years. Given the shift in strategy, idle capacity in these factories may now be used to expand production of other models, according to the report. The decision is said to have been taken after Apple improved its revenue and profit in India by 12 percent over the last year, despite selling less iPhones than the previous year. Apple India’s sales in the April-June quarter went up after it brought in a promotion to drop iPhone XR prices. "Cupertino does not want Apple India to chase volumes by discounting at the cost of profit," said one leading trade partner of Apple. "These models which are being phased out will increase the average selling price of iPhones in India and boost both profit and revenue." Apple India declined to comment on the matter. In the

Apple Now Exporting Some iPhone 6s and 7 Models Made in India to Europe

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

Apple Finalizes List of Locations for First Retail Store in India

Apple has finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The vetted locations are said to include several upscale sites in Mumbai that are comparable to iconic Apple stores on Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London, or the Champs-Elysees in Paris. A final decision on the plans is expected to come "in the next few weeks," said Bloomberg's sources. In the Indian market, Apple ranks 11th and accounts for just one percent of India's phone sales, selling fewer than one million iPhones during the first half of 2018. Comparatively, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi sold "more than 19 million" during that period, according to data gathered by Counterpoint Research. In an effort to revamp the company's presence in India, Apple CEO Tim Cook is believed to be working behind-the-scenes to "remold Apple's failing India strategy," according to both current and former Apple employees who spoke to Bloomberg. This strategy includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the opening of official Apple retail stores in India, "overhauling" the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services "aimed more closely at Indians." For retail, the official Apple stores are said to open in 2019 and will eventually include locations in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. While the Indian government's rules for foreign companies opening shops have previously prevented Apple from launching local stores, the company now builds some of its iPhone SE and ‌iPhon

TikTok Unbanned in India

Tik Tok, which was pulled from the App Store in India last week to comply with a government demand to block downloads over child safety concerns, is allowed to return to the App Store, reports Reuters. The southern state of Tamil Nadu had asked the Indian government to ban the TikTok app on the grounds that it encouraged pornography and could expose children to sexual predators, leading the government to send a letter to Apple and Google asking the companies to remove the app from their respective App Stores. Today, after hearing a plea from the app's creator, Bytedance, the state court reversed its decision pushing for the app's ban. An Indian government official told Reuters that once the court's order had been received, it would ask Apple and Google to reinstate the app. Created by China-based Bytedance Technology, TikTok is designed to let users create and share short-form videos enhanced with digital effects, which has been particularly successful in India. Before being pulled from the ‌App Store‌, TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in the country. Bytedance told Indian officials that it was losing up to $500,000 dollars a day during the ban, and that more than 250 jobs were at

Apple Removes Video Sharing App TikTok From Indian App Store to Comply With State Demand

Apple has removed TikTok from its App Store in India to comply with a government demand to block downloads of the video sharing app over child safety concerns. TikTok, developed by China-based Bytedance Technology, lets users create and share short-form videos enhanced with digital effects, a formula that has proved a huge hit in India. The app has been downloaded more than 240 million times in the country, according to a report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower in February. However, on April 3 a court in southern Tamil Nadu state asked the federal Indian government to ban the app on grounds that it encouraged pornography, and warned that sexual predators could target child users. Citing an IT ministry official, Reuters reports that the federal government sent a letter to Apple and Google requesting that the companies abide by the state court's order by pulling TikTok from their respective app stores. As of this morning, the title is no longer available for download on either platform in the country. In a statement, Google didn't mention the app by name but said it complied with all local state laws. Apple has yet to comment. Last week, Bytedance challenged the ban order in India's Supreme Court, arguing that it went against freedom of speech rights in India, but when the case was referred back to the state court a judge rejected the request to put the ban order on hold. Bytedance has been asked to give written submissions in the case, which is scheduled to have its next hearing on April 24. This isn't the first time a country has taken action against

Foxconn to Begin Production on iPhone X in India This July

Foxconn is set to begin production of the iPhone X in India this July, according to a report by The Economic Times. Production will take place at Foxconn's Chennai plant in eastern India. According to an official with knowledge of the company's plans, Foxconn hopes to step up production capacity and "diversify to even higher models going forward." Today's report sees Foxconn's plans to move some of its production outside of China begin to take shape, following the manufacturer's trial production of the iPhone X earlier this month. News about Foxconn's plans to produce high-end iPhones in India emerged late last year. According to a Reuters report, Foxconn invested $356 million to expand an existing plant and take on the new ‌iPhone‌ production, creating as many as 25,000 jobs in the process. Foxconn has been considering expanding its production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Apple manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's growing India base provides security in the face of Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology. Previously, Apple partnered with Wistron to produce iPhones in India, including the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s. When building iPhones in India, Apple is able to avoid import duties placed on imported smartphones and their components. More production in the country also helps Apple meet India's 30 percent local sourcing requirement that would allow Apple to open its own local retail

Apple Music Subscription Prices Slashed in India

Apple has cut the price of all Apple Music plans in India, in a move apparently aimed at fending off rival streaming services like Spotify and YouTube Music, both of which recently launched in the country within the last month. ‌Apple Music‌ is now being offered for Rs 99 ($1.43) a month, down from the earlier price of Rs 120 ($1.73). Likewise, a student membership now costs Rs 49 instead of Rs 60, while a family plan has dropped from Rs 190 to Rs 149. Yearly subscriptions meanwhile cost Rs 999 rather than the earlier price of Rs 1,200. The new price of an ‌Apple Music‌ membership undercuts both Spotify and YouTube Music, whose monthly premium plans start at Rs 119 and Rs 129, respectively. India is seen as an untapped market for streaming music services, with a population of 1.3 billion people many of whom are only just becoming active internet users. Home to a thriving and varied multi-lingual music scene, the country already has several local streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana, but with the big international players making their debut in the country, competition appears to be hotting up. (Via The Indian Express.)

Apple Cuts iPhone XR Prices in India

Apple has reportedly cut iPhone prices in India by around a quarter, following a similar move by the company in China. Sources who spoke to Reuters on Thursday said the price of an iPhone XR with 64GB storage has been reduced by at least 17,900 rupees ($259), taking into account a price cut and a credit card cashback campaign. "Apple is going to change their game," one of the people said, adding the company could also adjust prices for other devices depending on their demand. On Apple’s India website, the price of the 64 GB ‌iPhone XR‌ was unchanged at 76,900 rupees, but is on sale for less than 59,000 rupees at stores, the people said.Prices for the other two storage variants of the ‌iPhone XR‌ have also dropped, according to Reuters' sources, who called the pricing a "short-term promotional offer." With smartphone sales flattening in saturated markets like the U.S., Apple is said to have turned to India for new growth, but with "little success so far," claimed a report in December. Just one in four Indians own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country. However, with more than 75 percent of the smartphones sold in the country said to cost less than $250, India remains a very price-sensitive market, and a tough nut to crack for Apple. According to research firm Canalys, the number of iPhones shipped in India fell 40 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, and Apple's market share in the country dropped to about one percent from about two percent. Earlier this week, Apple also lowered

Apple Partner Foxconn Nears Trial Production of Latest iPhones in India

iPhone assembler Foxconn is close to trialing production of Apple's latest smartphones in India, according to a new report out today from Bloomberg. The trial run of the ‌iPhone‌ X range of devices would come before Foxconn starts full-scale assembly at its factory outside the southern city of Chennai, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private. Wistron Corp. already produces older models, such as the ‌iPhone‌ 6s, ‌iPhone‌ SE and ‌iPhone‌ 7, at a plant in Bangalore.Foxconn has been considering expanding its production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Apple currently manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's growing India base provides security in the face of Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology. Manufacturing iPhones in India could also help Apple lower prices by allowing it to avoid a tariff that adds 20 percent to devices imported from China. It could also help Apple meet India's 30 percent local sourcing requirement that would allow the company to open its own retail stores in the country. Apple's market share in the country dropped to about one percent in 2018, from about two percent the previous year, as the phones' higher prices deter customers. Consumers in India bought more than 140 million smartphones last year but just 1.7 million of those were sold by Apple, with users favoring cheaper homegrown models from the likes of Xiaomi. Late last year it was

Apple Partner Wistron Gets Initial Approval for New iPhone Factory in India

Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in India has won initial approval to build a new smartphone factory in the country. The Economic Times reports that India's IT ministry has given assent to Taiwan-based Wistron to construct the new factory, which now just needs approval from the Indian Cabinet to go ahead. Wistron will make cheaper iPhones in the new plant, reportedly beginning with the iPhone 8. Foxconn meanwhile is poised to build Apple's latest high-end smartphones, including the iPhone XS and ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, once its application gets similar approval by the relevant government departments. Foxconn sees production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Apple has been pushing to set up an ‌iPhone‌ manufacturing hub in India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi began promoting his "Made in India" initiative, which requires that 30 percent of products sold by foreign companies be manufactured or produced within the country. India is the world's second largest smartphone market, but just one in four Indians are said to own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country. However Apple is said to have had little success so far in what is a very price-sensitive market, with more than 75 percent of the smartphones sold in the country costing less than $250, according to one report. Apple revamped its India strategy in 2018 to include better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales

iPhone Assembler Foxconn Looks to India to Diversify Supply Chain Away From China

A larger portion of the world's iPhones could one day be manufactured in India, if a new report by the Wall Street Journal proves accurate. According to Tuesday's report, Apple's main iPhone assembler Foxconn is considering building production plants in India as a way to diversify its supply chain away from China, where most of the Taiwan-based firm's facilities currently reside. Executives at Foxconn, a contract manufacturer that assembles a large portion of the world’s iPhones in China, are studying whether to include an India project in budget plans, one of the people said. Senior executives, possibly including Chairman Terry Gou, plan to visit India after next month’s Lunar New Year to discuss plans, the people familiar said.Apple currently manufactures most of its iPhones through Foxconn, but the latter's potential new project in India points to Apple's vulnerability to rising U.S.-China tensions over trade and technology. Both Apple and Foxconn declined to comment on today's report, but it is thought that manufacturing iPhones in India could help Apple lower prices by allowing it to avoid a tariff that adds 20 percent to devices imported from China. Foxconn already has plants in India, and late last year it was reported that the firm would invest around $356 million to expand its facilities there to begin assembling Apple's high-end iPhones. Wistron assembles ‌iPhone‌ SE and ‌iPhone‌ 6s models in India exclusively for the Indian market, but the December report didn't say whether the high-end iPhones assembled by Foxconn would be sold in the country or

Samsung Prioritizes India With Launch of Galaxy M Series With Infinity-V Display

Later this month, Samsung will launch its new mid-range Galaxy M series. These are the first smartphones to feature the company's Infinity-V display, so-called due to its centered teardrop-shaped notch housing the front-facing camera. Samsung has teased the Galaxy M Series launch on Amazon India In another first for Samsung, the devices will be launching exclusively in India on January 28 ahead of a global release, in an attempt to regain ground lost to Chinese rivals like Xiaomi in the world's second biggest smartphone market. The popularity of Xiaomi's budget Redmi smartphones among younger consumers is believed to be a factor in declining sales of Samsung devices in the country. According to data from Counterpoint, Xiaomi overtook Samsung's share of the Indian market in Q4 2017, and maintained a five point lead over the company as recently as Q3 2018. The Galaxy M series is being seen as a direct counter to Xiaomi Redmi, and the Korean company has indicated as much. "The M series has been built around and incepted around Indian millennial consumers," said Samsung India's senior vice president Asim Warsi, speaking to Reuters. The line-up is thought to include three models, the M10, M20, and M30, which feature one, two, and three rear-facing cameras, respectively, a USB-C port, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a headphone jack. The M-series phones, which Samsung plans to sell only through its website and Amazon India, also promise fast charging, long battery life, and high performance, all for a price of between $140 and $280. With smartphone

Apple Maps Gains Turn-by-Turn Directions for India

Apple has added turn-by-turn navigation to Apple Maps for India. The app now offers the detailed directions for driving and walking, with options to book a ride through Uber and Ola also showing within the app. Still missing for users in India is public transit information, lane guidance and speed limits, although given that the addition of turn-by-turn directions is part of an ongoing improvement to Apple Maps, these are likely to follow. Rival Google Maps has been the de facto navigation app in India for some time, thanks to its driving, walking, and public transport modes. Users of the app have also benefited from the development of region-specific special features like "two-wheeler" mode which provides motorcycle and scooter users with shortcuts across cities. By contrast, Apple's navigational contributions in the country have come in for some criticism, with some users calling out the app's sparse data for a number of cities and towns, including missing landmarks. The introduction of turn-by-turn directions comes nearly three years after Apple announced the opening of a Hyderabad-based development center focused on improving Apple Maps in India. (Thanks, Ram!)

Apple Partnering With Foxconn to Build High-End iPhone Models in India Next Year

Following the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s, Apple will begin assembling its high-end iPhones in India sometime in 2019, according to a new report today by Reuters. Instead of Wistron, Foxconn will build the high-end iPhones, and these models are said to be the most expensive flagship devices offered by Apple, including the iPhone X family. Local sources state that the work will occur in Foxconn's plant in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Foxconn will reportedly invest 25 billion Indian rupees ($356 million) to expand the plant, part of which will be focused on the production of the flagship iPhones in India. The investment is estimated to create as many as 25,000 jobs. The report doesn't say whether these high-end iPhones will be sold in the Indian market or elsewhere in the world. Earlier this year, Apple revamped its India strategy in order to stay afloat in the country's smartphone market. This revamped strategy includes better and longer-lasting retail deals with higher sales targets, the debut of official Apple retail stores in India, an overhaul of the company's relationship with independent retailers, and improving apps and services for local users. This is said to include a new version of Apple Maps aimed at Indian users to launch by 2020. The expansion of high-end iPhone assembly outside of China could also be an attempt by Apple to "limit the impact" of a trade war between the United States and China: For Apple, widening assembly beyond China is critical to mitigate the risks of the Sino-U.S. trade war. Foxconn, the world’s biggest