Apple begins manufacturing iPhone SE in India

Key Points
  • Apple confirmed it has started to build iPhone SE units in Bengaluru, India.
  • India is one of Apple's key growth markets.
  • Samsung is currently the most popular smartphone maker in India, according to IDC.
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Apple began manufacturing a small batch of iPhones in India for the first time on Wednesday.

"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.

China and India are two markets where Apple has looked for growth, and the company has made significant investments in India to help it gain traction among its 1.2 billion consumers. The company opened up an iOS development lab last year, for example. The investments in India's economy may play out well among consumers who currently favor other devices.

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. According to data released by IDC this week, Samsung leads in the market with a 28.1 percent share, followed by Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo.

Apple remains part of a slice of smartphone makers trying to gain traction; they have a 28.3 percent share of India's smartphone market combined.

The iPhone SE is one of Apple's lower-priced iPhones and is already available in India.