Apple’s main manufacturing partner Foxconn is reported to be in discussions to open a new iPhone assembly plant in India. It is believes such a move would allow it to make the devices at a lower cost, while also boosting sales in the growing Indian market.
In addition to iPhones, Foxconn is also said to be looking to build iPads and iPods in India, for both local and international sales, according to Reuters. Details on Foxconn’s alleged plans were shared by Subhash Desai, Industries Minister of the state of Maharashtra in India.
While Foxconn has publicly confirmed it plans to build up to a dozen plants in India by the year 2020, it remains mum on the subject of any Apple-specific facility being built in that nation.
Foxconn – who builds most of the devices it makes in China – has shown interest in expanding globally, in order to better serve certain markets. he company expanded to Brazil in 2011, and currently builds some iPhones there, although the ramp up there has been slower than expected.
An expansion to India would benefit both Foxconn and Apple, due to rising wages in China. Lower production costs could allow Apple to price the iPhone more aggressively in India, where it is duking it out with both Samsung and local Indian device manufacturers.
India – while attractive to companies such as Apple due to its population that tops 1.2 billion – remains one of the poorest countries globally, with a per-capita GDP of just $1,509. This has led Apple to attempt to boost sales by creating innovative payment plans, as well as partnering with local resellers for retail locations.