iPhone

Apple Iphone 13: iPhone 13 is latest Apple model to be made in India

Apple has started production of its flagship iPhone 13 in India at contract manufacturing partner Foxconn’s plant near Chennai, a move that will help deepen the US smartphone major’s presence in the world’s second largest smartphone market and is likely to grow its market share to record levels.

“We are excited to begin making iPhone 13… right here in India for our local customers,” Apple told ET in a statement.

With the iPhone 13, the company now makes all its top selling models locally through its two contract manufacturing partners, Foxconn and Wistron. Pegatron, its third partner, is also expected to start production this month, initially with the iPhone 12.

Apple started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 with the iPhone SE, and currently produces the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and now the iPhone 13 locally. None of the Pro models are made in India currently.

The Cupertino-based smartphone major has thus reduced the timeframe between launch —September 24, 2021— and local production of the latest iPhone model to six to seven months, from eight months previously. This comes after Apple, for the first time, had made its iPhone 13 available to customers in India simultaneously with the US, among other markets.

Analysts say the developments underline the growing importance of India as a market where the company has been increasing its volume as well as value share steadily in recent quarters.

Experts say widening local manufacturing speeds up the go-to-market for Apple, with better control on the supply chain. It also offers the option of investing cost savings into aggressive marketing initiatives through partners, especially during the crucial festive season, moves which have contributed significantly to its growing share.

iphone 13Agencies

With Pegatron starting to make the iPhone 12 locally this month, and launch of the iPhone SE 2022, analysts expect 2022 to be an even stronger year for the company.

Neil Shah, vice-president at Counterpoint Research, said almost three in four iPhones sold in India are made in India. But that goes up to almost 90% of total phones sold in India in the non-launch quarter. “During the launch quarter and the subsequent quarter, Apple normally imports a third of its phone shipments in India,” he said.

Driven by wider local manufacturing, backed by aggressive marketing to tap into strong demand, Apple was among the fastest growing brands in India in 2021, with shipments growing 108% on-year to a record of 5 million units, or a roughly 4% market share, said market trackers.

With Pegatron starting to make the iPhone 12 locally this month, and launch of the iPhone SE 2022, analysts expect 2022 to be an even stronger year for the company.

“The Apple iPhone shipments will potentially touch the 7 million mark in calendar year 2022. This, in turn, would translate into a historic 5.5% market share for Apple,” said Prabhu Ram, head, industry intelligence group, CyberMedia Research (CMR).

Counterpoint’s Shah estimates Apple will grow more than 40% on-year in 2022, from 2021 levels, for domestic consumption and more than double its exports.

Premium Share

Apple, which is the country’s leading premium brand, still lags behind top brands overall in the price-sensitive Indian market. Market leader Xiaomi ended 2021 with a 24% share and fifth-ranked Oppo had 10%, according to Counterpoint Research.

Apple, with a 4% share, entered the top 10 for the first time in 2021, ranked at number six. The company maintained its lead in the premium segment (over Rs 30,000, or around $400) with a 44% share, followed by Samsung and OnePlus, as per Counterpoint.

As a result, Apple recorded the highest revenue among handset brands in India for 2021—around $2.09 billion — compared with second-ranked Samsung at about $2 billion, estimates Counterpoint.

“Apple’s expanded iPhone production capabilities and aggressive retail initiatives contributed to its aggressive growth in the premium smartphone segment. As Apple further diversifies its manufacturing base and expands its retail footprint with Apple-owned and Apple-operated flagship retail stores, it will further build on its strong growth momentum in India,” said CMR’s Ram.

Aggressive expansion in local manufacturing has also meant Apple — through its current operational partners Foxconn and Wistron — has been leveraging the government’s production-linked incentive scheme and is exporting to markets such as the UK (27%), Japan (24%), the Netherlands (23%), Germany (7%) and Italy (4%), said CMR.

CMR said that over the past four years, Apple’s share of made in India iPhones has grown 15 times, and the company now exports 75% of the phones it produces locally.

Apple is contributing to almost 13% of the mobile handset volumes exported from India in Q4 2021, as per data from Counterpoint. This makes Apple the second-largest smartphone exporter from India, after Samsung, with 78%.

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