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By Sankalp Phartiyal
MUMBAI, July 11 (Reuters) – Apple Inc's top-notch iPhones, mounted in India by Foxconn's local unit, are likely to enter Indian stores next month, one source said, potentially helping tech giant drop prices on the world's second largest smartphone market.
Some approvals are waiting, but the built-in iPhone XR and XS units in India are expected to release the market by August, the source said and asked not to be named because the issue is not public.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Foxconn said it didn't comment on customers or their products.
Expanding local assembly will help Apple save on high fees levied on imports of fully equipped units, and meet local sourcing standards to open its own stores in India.
Apple's devices are coveted by millions of Indians, but its pricing has limited its market share to a lean 1
Reuters had previously reported that the local unit Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., commonly known as Foxconn, would this year begin to mount iPhone X family units in India's southern Tamil Nadu state.
Cupertino, California, headquartered Apple, also assembles the lower cost of SE, 6S and 7 models in India through the Wistron Corps local unit in Bengaluru Tech.
"Local production will allow Apple to play with its distributors' margins and indirectly praise their phones lower," said Rushabh Doshi, research director at tech consultancy Canalys.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has tried to place South Asia's third largest economy as a hub for smartphone manufacturing, which raises global players with access to a market with over one billion wireless connections and cheap labor.
This print has met with great success as global smartphone giants, including Samsung and China's Oppo, have expanded rapidly in India, and contract manufacturers like Foxconn have raised domestic operations.
In addition to meeting local demand, companies like Apple can also use India as the export hub to mitigate the effects of a bruise between the US and China, according to technology analysts.
Apple lowered its tax rate for the first quarter, due to the fact that iPhone sales occurred in China, where the uncertainty surrounding trade relations between the United States and China has damaged the economy.
Some of the Wistron-mounted iPhone 6s and 7 are exported from India to markets in Europe, says Neil Shah of Hong-King-based technical researcher Counterpoint.
Wistrons India's head refused to comment. (Reporting of Sankalp Phartiyal Editing by Euan Rocha and Alexandra Hudson)