“Apple began manufacturing a small batch of iPhones in India on for the first time on Wednesday,” Todd Haselton reports for CNBC.

“‘We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru,’ Apple told CNBC, noting that it plans to begin shipping to customers in the market this month,” Haselton reports. “The company has made significant investments in India to help it gain traction among its 1.2 billion consumers.”

Haselton reports, “There’s plenty of room for Apple to grow in India, as it is not currently one of the top five smartphone manufacturers in the country.”

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“Apple contractor Wistron Corp. completed its first run of assembling iPhones in the country, a part of Apple’s effort to gradually get rid of its dependency on China for manufacturing,” Rishabh Jain reports for International Business Times. “R.V. Deshpande, commerce and industries minister for the country’s southern state of Karnataka, said. ‘Apple coming to India is a [matter of] pride for us. We are trying to get them in Karnataka as it’s the right place with all the required ecosystem.'”

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“With sales cooling in China—long an engine for Apple’s growth—the Cupertino, Calif., company has been looking for new ways to build its brand in India,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Apple has sought concessions on the taxes it pays to import some components, government officials say.”

“It is unclear how much the model might cost. Some Indian resellers already offer the iPhone SE for around $320, less than the $399 Apple charges in the U.S.,” WSJ reports. “Indian government officials hope the new price could be as much as $100 lower than the current $320. But Apple prefers to keep prices roughly consistent world-wide and aims to preserve its gross margins, a closely watched measure of profitability that reflects the percentage of revenue that remains after manufacturing costs.”

“Even though the SE, which has a 4-inch (10 cm) screen size, is Apple’s least expensive model, it is still out of reach of most Indians. Bringing its price down below $250 would help make it more affordable, analysts say, though it would still be well above the average smartphone price in India which research firm IDC says is around $150,” WSJ reports. “‘Apple is likely to sell a good number of iPhones if it prices them so aggressively,’ said Faisal Kawoosa, principal analyst at research firm CMR. ‘In three to five years, these users will be able to graduate to a standard-priced iPhone.'”

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MacDailyNews Take: Another step on the road to really getting down to business in India.