Foxconn appears ready to double-down on existing efforts in India and add to Apple’s manufacturing options, as it looks to grow iPhone production beyond just low-cost models outside of China.
For the first time, Foxconn may be assembling Apple’s handset in its Sriperumbudur plant located in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. The assembly partner is planning to invest 25 billion Indian rupees, roughly $356 million in U.S. dollars, on expanding their plant to accommodate the iPhone production according to M C Sampath, Tamil Nadu’s Industries Minister.
The Economic Times also noted that Foxconn is aiming to create as many as 25,000 jobs for the local workforce. The new production could commence as early as 2019.
As of now, only lower cost iPhones such as the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S are assembled in India and by competitor Wistron. The upgraded plant expected to put out Apple’s higher-end handsets. The report specifically cites the iPhone X as a possibility for manufacturing, expanding Apple’s business in the country. The report is likely in error regarding the specific model, as the iPhone XR and iPhone XS has supplanted the iPhone X in size, and camera capabilities, respectively.
Apple and Foxconn both have been exploring other options for manufacturing as the U.S. tiptoes around a trade war with China in recent months.
As of late, there have been a number of hurdles for Apple’s expansion plans in India, including recently allowing the country’s anti-spam app into the App Store to avoid a ban from the local cellular networks. A top advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi also insisted the country should restrict its import of luxury goods like the iPhone and tax them heavily, further hurting Apple’s outlook in the country for high-end sales.