The 10th anniversary iPhone a.k.a. the “iPhone 8” is the flavour of the season as rumors and leaks keep flying left, right and centre. We are getting new reports every other day about the iPhone 8 regarding its cost ($1000-1400), shipping (late 2017), features (3D sensors) and more. Every bit of attention is on the 10th anniversary model and why not? The iPhone 8 deserves every bit of the attention. However, we have got hold of a new development on the successor of the iPhone SE, which was first unveiled back on March 21, 2016. According to our reliable sources, the iPhone SE 2 will be manufactured in India.Earlier this May, Apple started its manufacturing operations in India. They tied up with a Taiwanese contract manufacturer named Wistron to start assembling small batches of iPhone SE at a production facility in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Before starting its facility in India, Apple manufactured most of its devices in China and some older models were assembled in Brazil. The iPhone SE models manufactured in India carried the ‘Assembled in India’ label and were in stores by the end of May. The iPhone SE is priced at $399 and $499 for 32GB and 128GB variants, respectively in the US while it costs around $320 – $390 in India for the 16GB (old) and 32GB models on various e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.
Apple is looking to double its market share in India in the next 5 years. In October-December quarter, Apple posted all-time record revenue in India despite demonetization in the country, which had created a lot of economic pressure. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple had sold more than 2.5 million units in 2016 and one-third of its total shipment came in the last quarter. In Q4 2016, Apple was the leader in the premium segment (above Rs. 30,000 or USD 467) with 62% market share but the overall market share in terms of value is just 11%. After the successful rollout of 4G LTE services in India by Reliance Jio and other telecom operators over the last couple of years, Apple is finally setting up the base of its big expansion plan in the Indian market. According to research, the number of smartphone users in India will reach 340 million by the end of 2017 and Apple has only 3% market share by volume.
Apple is all set to target the youth of this country to expand their iOS user base in the mid-segment (below Rs. 25,000) who will eventually shift to its premium smartphones slowly. According to our sources, the iPhone SE 2, which is all set to launch in Q1 of 2018, will only get assembled in India and the Cupertino-based company will export the smartphone to other countries from here. After the roll out of GST (Goods and Services Tax) in India, Apple has also reduced prices of its iPhone and other devices by up to 7.5%. So it will be immensely beneficial for Apple to completely manufacture the iPhone SE 2 in India as it will get another 10% tax cut (BCD), which is currently being levied on mobile phones imported into the country.
Now talking about the specifications of the iPhone SE 2, it will be relatively based on the iPhone 7 as the iPhone SE was based on the iPhone 6s. Thus, we are expecting it to feature a display ranging between 4-4.2 inches. It will be powered by the A10 quad-core processor and 2GB RAM. The SE 2 will run on iOS 11 and have 32/128GB internal storage. It will come with the same iPhone 7 primary camera (12 megapixel) at the back but there will be a 5 megapixel selfie camera, which was seen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This is obviously because of cost cutting as the iPhone SE also did not have the 5 megapixel selfie camera and second generation TouchID sensor of the iPhone 6s. We are expecting Apple to pack in a 1700mAh (approximately) battery in the iPhone SE 2. The budget iPhone is expected to come with slightly thinner side bezels as you can see in these concept rendered images. It looks like a fusion of iPhone 7 and iPhone SE.The Apple iPhone SE 2 is expected to be unveiled in India in the first quarter of 2018. However, this is only a small part of Apple’s Indian expansion plan as they are all set to open Apple Stores in the country. The initial plan is to open two stores, one in New Delhi and another in Mumbai. They will be between 10,000 – 15,000 square feet in size and located at premium locations. The scouting has already begun but it will take at least couple of years to see them in action. Also, Apple is yet to receive approval from the Indian government for its retail foreign direct investment (FDI) plans. In conclusion, Apple Inc. is all set to capture the Indian smartphone market in the next 10 years.