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Apple is holding the iPhone 6S on the "Made in India" campaign



Apple is known to keep its older iPhone models and design around to cut out the entry level of the product portfolio, but this becomes a bit ridiculous. The iPhone 6S, now in its fourth year of existence, is the subject of a new marketing campaign in India where local production is prominently announced. With India in the midst of a controversial general election and concerns about nationalism prominent in many people's minds, the generally benign expression "made in India" takes a stronger meaning and tone.

Moved to produce iPhones in India was even driven by a nationalist act: Apple started making iPhone SE in India in 201

7, and last year it added to the iPhone 6S due to an increase in import tariffs from the country's government. India had another tariff increase in October last year, and supported an initiative for "Make in India" led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apple has, at least in part, responded to the way Modi wanted, expanded its manufacturing base and recognized that it needed to gain a foothold in a market as big and growing as Indias.

This is the same goal that the Trump administration pursues in its growing trade tensions with China. However, Chinese companies have not shown increased appetite for bringing extra production to the United States; If anything, they have been afraid to invest more heavily in the country.

More than the manufacturing site, Apple's major challenge in securing a large portion of the Indian smartphone market is that it just doesn't have compelling budget units. Its most popular iPhone in India in 2018 was the iPhone 6, and both the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S are years old. Cheap Android options continue to germinate every day (today's example is Realme X), which has soft-smaller displays, more RAM and storage, and increasingly better cameras. For Apple to be a leader in India, it must either start creating its higher tier units locally, develop tailor-made budget models, or, most likely, do both at the same time.


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