A new report from Reuters suggests that Apple will be looking to Foxconn to build high-end iPhone models at an expanded production facility in India starting in 2019. The new move is to both expand Apple’s footprint in India, a country they have struggled to do so in to this point, as well as potentially avoid some of the tariffs that are being imposed by the Trump administration on products from China.
Currently, high-end iPhone models like the iPhone XS and XS Max are produced by Foxconn in China. The report from Reuters suggests that the company could have Foxconn build the older iPhone X in India to try to get that flagship into the Indian consumer market. The production is reported to be set to take place at the Taiwanese manufacture’s plan in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The company is spending some 25 billion Indian rupees ($356 million) to expand the plant, which could bring an additional 25,000 jobs to the region.
For Apple, the move could be what the company needs to get sales going in India, a country where the average smartphone is below $250. Apple could get Foxconn to build the older iPhone X at a lower cost in India, thus expanding the sales in the country of the older flagship iPhone. According to the research firm Counterpoint, over half of the sales if iPhones in India last year were driven by models older than the iPhone 8. India is an important market for Apple and they appear to be willing to make production changes along with other in-country marketing and support to make it happen.