Apple is making big commitment to the Indian smartphone market. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is looking at India as one of its next major manufacturing hub. The company already assembles cheaper models like the iPhone 7 in India. However, it has recently begun assembling premium models like the iPhone X and iPhone XR in the country. In partnership with Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Foxconn, the company has begun making iPhone XR in Chennai. These new models come with ‘Assembled in India’ branding on the box.

IT Minister shows locally made Apple iPhone XR

Now, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has tweeted a picture of an iPhone XR that was “assembled in India” in his hand. “As promised, delighted to receive an iPhone XR, which reads “Designed by Apple in California and Assembled in India”. I expect further expansion of manufacturing in India by #Apple,” Prasad tweeted on Monday. The image shows how India is becoming an important country for the iPhone maker. It also shows how the government is trying to woo Apple to locally assemble iPhones in the country.

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Since his first visit to India in 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been bullish about the Indian market. Despite losing significant market share in the premium smartphone segment, Cook maintained that India remains an important market in the long-term. Now that the company has once again reclaimed the leadership in the premium market, it is looking at its next chapter. For Apple, the focus seems to be on expanding its manufacturing base in the country. It is also looking at bringing retail stores to the country.

Globally launched last year, the iPhone XR is being manufactured at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai. The company began selling the locally assembled models in India last month. The company also assembles the iPhone 7 and 6S models at supplier Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. Earlier, Prasad said Apple, which has started producing iPhones for domestic and exports markets, would expand its operations in India by producing various iPhone models, including iPhone XR.

(Written with IANS inputs)