FILE PHOTO: Apple's 5G iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 are seen at an Apple Store in Shanghai, China October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Apple Inc has started the assembly of iPhone 12 in India, the U.S. tech giant said, as the company ramps up manufacturing operations in the world's second-biggest smartphone market."We are proud to be starting production of iPhone 12 in India for our local customers," Apple said in a statement on Thursday, without naming the supplier making the smartphone.The Indian unit of Apple's Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn will assemble the device in its plant in southern Tamil Nadu state, two sources familiar with the matter said.Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has previously said it does not comment on client-specific work.Apple has been shifting some areas of production from China to other markets as it navigates the trade war between Washington and Beijing. A person familiar with the matter said in November Foxconn is moving some iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China at its request. Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple has bet big on India since it begin iPhone assembly in the country in 2017 via another Taiwanese supplier, Wistron.Foxconn, Wistron and a third supplier Pegatron have together committed roughly $900 million over five years to make iPhones in India, leveraging New Delhi's $6.7 billion plan to boost smartphone exports.Apple is also planning to bring the assembly of its iPad tablet to India, Reuters reported last month."Nice to see our efforts to make India a big hub of mobile and components manufacturing is attracting global attention," India's technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted following news of iPhone 12 production in India. "This will create jobs in large numbers." (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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