India is currently the world's fastest growing mobile market, and Apple wants in.
The company is set to start manufacturing its lower-cost iPhone SE in the country in the coming months, said Reuters on Friday.
Apple will use a contract manufacturer in the city of Bengaluru, which is already home to an Apple design and development center, an industry source told Reuters. A separate source told the company earlier this month that Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron Corp is setting up a plant in the city solely for the purpose of producing iPhones.
A local official, Priyank Kharge, IT minister for the Indian state of Karnataka, also confirmed Apple's intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru earlier this month, tweeting: "Apple's intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state."
India presents a huge potential market for Apple, which last year sold only 2.5 million iPhones in the country. These were all in the small high-end segment of the market, whereas most phone owners in India go for cheaper Android handsets. By producing the cheaper iPhone SE in the country, Apple would be able to reduce their overall costs, allowing it to compete more efficiently with Android phone makers.