Luxury gadget and smartphone makers Apple is set to begin assembling the iPhone SE in India but that doesn’t necessarily mean that its prices will drop in the country.
India’s Economic Times Friday reported that Apple will begin assembling in the coming months in Karnataka, adding more detail to comments from the state’s minister of IT earlier this month that seemingly confirmed an arrangement.
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Apple currently prices the iPhone higher in India than any other country in the world. It is widely assumed that the cost is down to high import taxes that the company is subject to — since it manufacturers devices in China — and so it figures that any move to assemble devices locally could reduce the price of iPhones in India.
That’s important, because Apple continues to struggle to gain any meaningful share of India’s smartphone market, which is one of the few tipped to grow consistently.
A recent IDC report found that Chinese smartphone brands dominated India’s phone market in the final quarter of 2016, with no Indian brands in the top five for the first time. Apple, meanwhile, had its best year of sales in India — selling 2.5 million units — but that represents a tiny fraction of overall sales — more than 28 million devices shipped in Q4 2016 alone.
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