According to fresh reports surfacing from India, Apple’s iPhone SE has started local production. This follows a decision by the American company to start producing some of its products in India in a bid to further bring down the usually premium prices of the iPhone in the market.
Ever since its debut in 2007, the iPhone has established itself as a device for measuring social status. Anyone donning an iPhone is associated with great success, but this feeling is about to be eradicated by the collaboration between Apple and the Indian government.
In India, Apple’s production activities will be taken care of by Wistron and if a Wall Street Journal report is to be believed, the company has already started working on the entry-level iPhone SE, which was first released in 2016. In the U.S., the compact iPhone SE sells for $399 for the base model of 32GB and $499 for the high-end 128GB variant, but according to the WSJ, the price in India could start as low as $220 for the base model.
In comparison, the 32GB variant of the iPhone SE usually retails at Rs 27,000, which is about $420 or Ksh 43,500. In Kenya, for instance, the 16GB variant of the same phone can be yours for about Ksh 40,000 or even more, with the 64GB variant coming in at a price of about Ksh 50,000. If Wistron beefs up production of the iPhone SE – and possibly other future iPhones – it’s possible that the Kenyan market and maybe Africa as a whole could benefit a lot from this deal, which could see the phone priced at less than Ksh 25,000.
Apple is increasingly upping its focus on India as a developing market, thus eliminating the idea that the iPhone is a phone meant for the developed markets. By locally manufacturing their phones in India, the American company wants to cut down on not just transportation costs, but also import duty fees. As for Kenya and Africa, the benefits could come in the form of transport fees, where India is relatively closer to Africa than China – where iPhones are usually produced.
At the moment, Apple has only confirmed that the iPhone SE will be the only smartphone in production. However, if the move proves to be a success – which we expect to be, especially if the $220 pricing is achieved – Apple may start building its future flagship phones in India as well. Like the reduced price of the iPhone SE, these future phones, probably beginning with the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and iPhone 8, could also get even lower price tags than the current prices of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in India and other African markets.
As for those in India, the WSJ report says that shipping of the iPhone SE (made in India) could begin as soon as next week, but price drops in Africa could take some time – if at all this report materializes.