10:45 GMT06 May 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid declining global sales, American tech giant Apple Inc is set to invest $1 billion to launch iPhone production in India; strengthening its grip on the highly competitive Indian smartphone market and increasing its ability to compete with Chinese counterparts.

    Apple, along with its Taiwanese contract manufacturing partner Foxconn, aims to export "Made in India" iPhones around the world, media reports said on Tuesday citing sources.

    Apple will facilitate iPhone manufacturing from Foxconn's facility in India's city of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

    The tech giant has also decided to invest USD 13 million (about Rs. 1,000 crores) in India, to expand its online and retail presence in the country.

    The coming company-owned Apple stores will first launch in India's metropolitan cities of Mumbai and Delhi.
    Indian Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has also confirmed Apple's plans to ramp up manufacturing in the country, reports said.

    Apple's decision to turn to India for manufacturing comes at a time when the US and China are engaged in a trade tariff war. The ongoing contest has led tech players dependent on China for production, to look for potential alternative markets.

    According to reports, Apple's investments in India come as a solution for the iPhone-maker amidst trade tensions.

    Despite India becoming the fastest-growing smartphone market with 36.9 million device shipments in Q2 of 2019, Apple has seemingly lost its loyalists in India; primarily due to skyrocketing prices.

    While Apple isn't interested in competing in the budget and mid-range smartphone segments, the company has been losing to brands like OnePlus and Samsung in India's premium market.

    By initiating iPhone manufacturing in India, Apple would be able to save on the 20 per cent smartphone import duties and reduce prices of the otherwise expensive Apple handsets.

    Earlier in September, Apple launched its latest line-up of iPhones, the 11s series which will hit the shelves in India on 27 September.

    The cheapest iPhone 11 model (64GB) with dual rear camera setups will cost Rs. 64,900 ($905)in India, while the initial price of iPhone 11 Pros and iPhone 11 Pro Max models will be Rs.99,900 ($1,400 approx.) and Rs. 1,09,900 ($1,550 approx.) respectively.



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