In a major win for the govt’s Aatamnirbhar India initiative, Apple has started manufacturing of one of its flagship devices, the iPhone 11, at Chennai’s Foxconn plant. This is the first time Apple has manufactured a top-of-the-line model in India.

“Significant boost to Make in India!” Piyush Goyal said in the tweet. “Apple has started manufacturing iPhone 11 in India, bringing a top-of-the-line model for the first time in the country.”

The local assembly of the iPhone 11 would help the company avoid a 20 per cent tax that it is needed to pay for importing the handset from its global manufacturing facilities. Apple has Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron as the suppliers for its iPhone models that all are presently making huge investments in the Indian market.

Earlier this month, Foxconn, which is a leading supplier for iPhone and other Apple devices, reportedly planned to invest up to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,491 crores) to expand its India factory where it assembles iPhone models. Pegatron — the second-largest iPhone assembler after Foxconn — was also reported to make some investment in the country and set up a local subsidiary in the coming future.

India has become an important market for all smartphone vendors, thanks to the fact that it already has over 50 crore smartphone users. Companies including Samsung and Xiaomi have already invested plenty of resources in the country to meet the growing demands of Indian consumers. The expansion of consumer demand has lately attracted Apple and its suppliers as well.

Production will be stepped up in phases and Apple may consider exporting the India-made iPhone 11, reducing its dependence on China.

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