Apple to start India operations with iPhone SE

In the fourth quarter, Apple ranked 10th in India’s smartphone market but led the premium segment with a 62 percent market share. (Reuters)
Updated 17 February 2017
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Apple to start India operations with iPhone SE

MUMBAI: Apple Inc. will in the coming months start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer’s plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron Corp. is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones, a separate source told Reuters earlier this month.
Apple’s move comes as it seeks to boost its share in the world’s fastest growing major mobile market, where handsets far cheaper than Apple’s iPhones dominate. It also comes as smartphone sales growth is slowing in Asia’s other massive market, China.
To lower prices, Apple has been seeking to set up local production and has been in talks with the Indian federal government regarding issues such as tax concessions.
The industry source told Reuters the initial manufacturing of the iPhone SE model was not contingent on those concessions.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Economic Times newspaper earlier on Friday reported Apple planned to initially assemble 300,000 to 400,000 iPhone SE handsets in India. The industry source told Reuters the numbers would be substantially lower to begin with.
The source also said it was too early to say what other phone models Apple would assemble at the Bengaluru plant.
Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones to India last year, with a third coming in the December quarter, according to market researcher Counterpoint, which estimates that three-quarters of smartphones sold in India were made locally.
In the fourth quarter, Apple ranked 10th in India’s smartphone market but led the premium segment with a 62 percent market share, Counterpoint said.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and a host of Chinese players including Xiaomi and Vivo dominate India’s smartphone market where the vast majority of phones sold are priced below Rs15,000 ($225).
In comparison, the entry-level iPhone SE model sells on Amazon.com’s India site for Rs28,433 ($424).


Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years

Updated 14 min 20 sec ago
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Global wind capacity to rise by more than half in next five years

  • Around 52.5 gigawatts of new wind power capacity was added worldwide last year, down slightly from 54.6 GW in 2016
  • China continues to be the biggest wind market in the world, adding nearly 19.7 GW of new capacity in 2017

LONDON: Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years, as costs continue to fall and the market returns to growth at the end of this decade, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows.
In its annual report on the status of the global wind industry, the GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity stood at 539 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year, 11 percent higher than the previous year.
That should increase by 56 percent to 840 GW by the end of 2022 as countries develop more renewable energy to meet emissions cut targets and prices continue to fall, the wind industry association said.
Around 52.5 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power capacity was added worldwide last year, down slightly from 54.6 GW in 2016. The GWEC expects the market to be flat this year but start growing again from 2019.
“The annual market will return to growth in 2019 and 2020, breaching the 60 GW barrier once again and continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, in the beginning of the new decade,” the GWEC said in its report.
“We expect to see total cumulative installations reach 840 GW by the end of 2022,” it added.
Wind power has become more competitive over the past few years, with a move from government subsidies to auctions which has brought costs down further.
“Overall, offshore prices for projects to be completed in the next five years or so are half of what they were for the last five years and this trend is likely to continue,” the report said.
China continues to be the biggest wind market in the world, adding nearly 19.7 GW of new capacity in 2017, though this was 15.9 percent lower than the previous year.
The pace of China’s wind development is gradually slowing down and growth is expected to be flat to 2020.
India experienced record wind installations last year, adding over 4 GW, but GWEC expects this to slow this year due to a transition period between old market incentives and moving toward an auction-based system, the GWEC said.
The EU also had a record year in 2017 with 15.6 GW added. The bloc is expected to install around 76 GW of new wind power by the end of 2022, reaching a cumulative total of 254 GW.
The US added 7 GW of new wind capacity last year. Despite attempts to change the structure of tax credits last year, the provisions remained intact and continue to support the industry.