Import tariffs are part of the reason why iPhones are so expensive in India. To get around that, Apple started manufacturing the iPhone SE locally and the iPhone 6s is following suit. It is being manufactured at the Bengaluru facility of Winstron, which also makes the SE.
Since production only just started, Apple will need to import iPhone 6s units for a while longer until capacity can meet demand. But “made in India” units will soon hit stores, one executive said. Unfortunately, there is no planned price cut.
Apple is reportedly looking into adding more models to the roster of locally-produced iPhones with trial production runs starting soon. The previous trial runs started in April and covered models from the iPhone 6 and 6s generations, which (according to Counterpoint) make up 33% of total iPhone sales in India. The iPhone SE accounts for 15%.
This move is in response to increased tariffs (import duty on smartphones was set to 20% in February) and to recover lost ground in the premium segment, which is currently lead by Samsung and OnePlus (Apple is in third).