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Apple has begun assembling its low-priced iPhone SE at its contract manufacturer’s plant in the technology hub of Bengaluru in southern India.

In December 2016, Apple shared a list of demands with the Indian government seeking tax concessions, including lower import and manufacturing responsibilities and certain policy exemptions as prerequisites for setting up a manufacturing operations unit in the country. In February, media reports said Apple was likely to assemble iPhones at a plant being set up by Wistron Corp at Peenya industrial area near Bengaluru.

Apple recently launched its App Accelerator in Bengaluru. The centre will allow developers to avail of tools and infrastructure to enhance their skills; transform the design, quality and performance of their apps on iOS platform.

Apple said, “Apple is keen to boost its market share in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile phone markets. We are beginning initial production of small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru and will be made available locally for sale this month. ”

Meanwhile, India’s smartphone industry is expanding at a rapid pace and is likely to outrun the US as the second-largest market in the world, as per a report by market research firm IDC. Tim Cook, Apple chief executive said that the company is strengthening their presence in India but admitted that it was ‘underpenetrated’ in the country. However, he said the expansion of 4G infrastructure turned out to be a huge opportunity for Apple.

Apple unveiled the iPhone SE in March last year. The four-inch smartphone was launched in the local market with a price tag of Rs 39,000 for the 16 GB version. Currently, the phone is sold for less than Rs 30,000 at various e-commerce platforms. Local manufacturing could help Apple further reduce the cost of the device in the domestic market. However, for now the price of the locally made device will not be reduced.

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