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India Journalism Tech

Foxconn Looks Beyond China to India for iPhone Assembly

2019 01 23foxconn

That’s the headline on a story I wrote yesterday with my colleagues Yang Jie, Yoko Kubota, and Rajesh Roy.

It begins:

Apple Inc.’s largest iPhone assembler, Foxconn Technology Group, is considering producing the devices in India, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could reduce Apple’s dependence on China for manufacturing and potentially for sales.

Executives at Foxconn, a contract manufacturer that assembles a large portion of the world’s iPhones in China, are studying whether to include an India project in budget plans, one of the people said. Senior executives, possibly including Chairman Terry Gou, plan to visit India after next month’s Lunar New Year to discuss plans, the people familiar said.

Foxconn’s look at India comes as sustained friction between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology is pushing many companies to consider diversifying their supply chains away from China, a global center of assembly for smartphones, computers and other electronics.

Click through to read the rest.

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Journalism

Why the iPhone Is Losing Out to Chinese Devices in Asia

2018 02 26 iphone asia

That’s the headline of my newest story, which ran last week.

It begins:

NEW DELHI—The iPhone X has set a new benchmark for smartphone prices and bolstered Apple Inc.’s bottom line, but its steep price may be hobbling its future in Asia’s biggest markets and allowing Chinese challengers to grab market share.

Buyers from India to Indonesia are opting for models from Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi Corp.—sometimes called “the Apple of China”—along with BBK Electronics Corp.’s Oppo and Vivo.

China’s manufacturers are increasingly churning out higher-priced devices that compete directly with Apple’s smartphones. They often have high-end features, but carry lower price tags than the iPhone X or even older iPhone models. They are targeting potential Apple customers by offering phones with robust hardware such as metal bodies, beefy batteries and unique features iPhones lack, including special cameras for taking better selfies.

Click through to read the rest.

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India Journalism Tech

Our Facebook Live Video On Apple and India

Last week my colleague Eric Bellman and I conducted a live Facebook chat on Apple’s big gamble on India.

The video is embedded above and on The WSJ Facebook page here.

Eric and I discuss India’s promise as the second biggest smartphone market after China (hundreds of millions of people are getting online for the first time on low-cost smartphones), what Apple’s been doing to make strides here (assembling phones locally for the first time, working to open its own official stores, trying to boost the iOS ecosystem, etc.) and the challenges it faces (the biggest: price).

Enjoy.

And for more, see a couple of our recent stories:

Categories
India Journalism Tech

Photos: iPhones, Assembled-in-India, are Here

2017 06 26iphonetweet

I tweeted this on Friday and wanted to share it here as well: as we reported last month, the first-ever assembled-in-India iPhones are a reality.

Here’s a closer look at a couple of images of SE models I snapped at two shops recently here in New Delhi.

2017 06 26iphone

2017 06 26iphone2

For more on the wider context, see our story Thursday on Apple’s push in India. The headline: “Apple Scraps Like an Underdog in Second Biggest Mobile Market.”

Categories
Journalism Tech

Our Scoop Yesterday: Apple Manufacturer Assembles First iPhones in India

2017 05 18 apple india

The exclusive, which I wrote with my WSJ colleagues, begins:

NEW DELHI—An Apple Inc. manufacturer has completed a trial run of the first-ever iPhones assembled in India, in an important step in the U.S. tech giant’s push into the fast-growing South Asian market.

The manufacturing of Apple’s cheapest iPhone model, the SE, was handled earlier this month by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp., which has an assembling unit in the southern state of Karnataka, a state official with direct knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Apple said in a statement that it has begun initial production of a small number of iPhone SE handsets in Bangalore and will begin shipping the Indian-made devices to domestic customers this month. The first devices could hit stores as early as this week or next, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Wistron spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on “market rumors or speculation.”

With sales cooling in China—long an engine for Apple’s growth—the Cupertino, Calif., company has been looking for new ways to build its brand in India. Apple has sought concessions on the taxes it pays to import some components, government officials say.

The story was followed by may other outlets.