New Delhi: Apple Inc is commencing assembly of its iPhone 12 model in the country, a move that is expected to help the US tech giant further consolidate its position in the burgeoning smartphone market in India.
Apple has partnered with third-party manufacturers like Foxconn and Wistron to make some of its phones in India. These include iPhone SE, iPhone 10R and iPhone 11.
"Apple is dedicated to making the best products and services in the world to delight our customers...We are proud to be starting production of iPhone 12 in India for our local customers,Â Apple said in a statement.
While the Cupertino-based company did not name the supplier partners, sources said Foxconn will be making the iPhone 12 at a facility in Tamil Nadu.
Comments from Foxconn could not be immediately elicited.
Apple had started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 with iPhone SE.
In a tweet, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "Nice to see our efforts to make India a big hub of mobile and components manufacturing is attracting global attention. This will create jobs in large numbers."
Apple, which competes with players like Samsung and OnePlus in the premium smartphone segment, has been aggressively ramping up its presence in the Indian market.
In December last year, a section of workers at Wistron Corporation's manufacturing facility in Narasapura Industrial Area near Bengaluru - which assembles the latest version of the iPhone SE at the plant - went on a rampage over non-payment of their wages. At that time, Apple had said Wistron had been placed on probation and that the contract manufacturer will not receive any new business from the US-based company before corrective actions are completed.
In the past, Apple has highlighted that it sees growth opportunities in the Indian market.
In January, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook had stated that the company has doubled its business in India in the December quarter on the back of the strong performance of its online store and that the tech giant sees a good growth trajectory going ahead.
"India is one of those, where our share is quite low. It did improve from the year-ago quarter. Our business roughly doubled over that period of time. And so, we feel very good about the trajectory. We are doing a number of things in the area. We put the online store there, for example, and last quarter was the first full quarter of the online store," Cook had said.
Apple also plans to set up brick-and-mortar outlets in India in addition to the online store as the iPhone maker looks to further cement its position in one of the world's biggest smartphone markets.
In the past, Apple has stated that it is keen on offering online and in-store experiences to Indian users that are at par with its global standards and that it aims to open its maiden retail store in India.
The growth seen by Apple has been noted by research firms like Counterpoint. According to Counterpoint, Apple captured the sixth spot in terms of shipment in India in the October-December 2020 quarter with 171 per cent year-on-year growth, and 93 per cent growth in 2020 over the previous year.
The report had pointed out that the launch of the iPhone 12, aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion had driven this growth. For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter, it further noted.
Apple had clocked about a 29 per cent jump in its revenues in India at Rs 13,755.8 crore, while its net profit witnessed manifold growth to Rs 926.2 crore in financial year 2020 over the previous fiscal, as per regulatory documents.