Apple is preparing to make the new iPhone SE in India, according to a person familiar with the matter. The U.S. smartphone giant will use Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Wistron, which already operates factories there, the person added.
Making the new iPhone SE in India will help Apple avoid a 20% tax on imported smartphones. The second-generation iPhone SE, which launched in late April, starts at $560 in India versus $400 in the U.S.
At least one Apple component supplier in China has been asked to begin shipping components for the new iPhone SE to Wistron in India starting in July, the person said. Apple already assembles older versions of the iPhone in India, but almost all their components are shipped from China. Apple and Wistron didn’t reply to requests for comment.
Despite India’s huge population, Apple’s sales in the country are still tiny as the iPhone is too expensive for most consumers. In the year to March 2019, the most recent data available, Apple’s India subsidiary reported sales of around $1.5 billion, according to local corporate filings. That’s a fraction of Apple’s global revenue over the same period of nearly $260 billion.