Kolkata: Apple has shelved plans to manufacture the iPhone 12 mini in India because of poor demand in the country and globally, two senior industry executives said.

The company had planned to make the iPhone 12 mini through Wistron at its plant in Karnataka by May-June. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer just resumed production of older iPhone models after almost three months of a shutdown due to labour violence over a wage dispute.

Wistron continues to be under “probation” by Apple and cannot start manufacturing any new product until the iPhone maker is satisfied that it is following all labour practices and protocols.

“The probation has nothing to do with the manufacturing of iPhone 12 mini in the country. Apple had even considered Foxconn for manufacturing this model in India in case the Wistron probation continues for long. But the demand for the model is weak and Apple would not like to scale up its production,” said an executive.

There is speculation that Apple may discontinue sales of the iPhone 12 mini, a smaller version of its flagship 5G model launched in November, with some estimates of its share of total iPhone sales in a low, single-digit figure.

An email sent to Apple India remained unanswered till Thursday press time.

Apple is slashing its planned production of the iPhone 12 mini for the first half of this year and some suppliers have been asked to temporarily stop making components for this model, according to a recent report by Nikkei Asia.

Wistron resumed production at its Narasapura plant on Monday. Wistron produces the iPhone 7 and SE, which are sold in India and exported.

Apple said on Wednesday that it will produce the latest iPhone 12 in India. Executives said production will be through Foxconn, ET reported on Wednesday.

Foxconn already manufactures the iPhone 11 and XR for Apple in India. An industry executive said the locally produced iPhone 12 will hit the market most likely in April since trial production is not yet completed.

Apple revived its flagging sales in India in 2020 and reported its best ever quarter in October-December last year, selling more than 1.5 million smartphones, as per Counterpoint Technology Market Research. The research firm said Apple became the sixth-largest smartphone brand in India in 2020 having grown 93% over 2019.

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