Apple could start production of iPhone 6S Plus at a new factory in southern India to lower the price of the model, local newspaper The Economic Times reported. It can start manufacturing in Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, in two weeks.
By establishing a local factory, Apple intends to cut the prices of the Indian iPhone, in response to government policies on foreign phones. The government of India raised tariffs on smartphones from 15 to 20 percent in February, forcing Apple to seek new measures to lower its prices and stay competitive. Local manufacturing could reduce prices by 5-7 percent, according to the report, if Apple manages to make all iPhone 6S Plus sold in the Indian market nationwide. If prices fall so little, iPhones could become as affordable as OnePlus phones or certain Samsung phones, notes The Economic Times.
Another way for Apple to reduce the additional costs would be manufacturing parts and packaging, all within India as well. Earlier this month, the Indian government announced a 10 percent customs tariff on circuits, camera modules, connectors and other parts, reports The Economic Times. Many of the policies are aimed at boosting the local smartphone economy in India.
In India, the iPhone 6S Plus of almost three years is still popular, since it costs less than other flagship products such as the iPhone 8 or X, but has many of the same main features, such as a 5.5-inch Retina display, a 12 megapixel camera and 4K video recording. The iPhone 6S Plus also has the advantage of coming in pink gold, a discontinued color for the newer iPhones. Another previous model, the iPhone SE, is also succeeding in the market due to its cheaper price, partly as a result of having been built locally.
The iPhone 6S Plus will be the second phone to be assembled in India, but since it is not completely manufactured there, it will still be subject to certain taxes. According to The Economic Times, Apple can add more models to production in the coming months.
An IDC report last year said that Apple controlled only 2 percent of India's smartphone market and analysts recommended that the company focus on "superior positioning of its smartphones."
We have communicated with Apple to confirm it.