Apple confirmed it started producing iPhone SE smartphones in India, with the model to go on sale in the country later in May.

“We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru,” an Apple representative told news portal Axios. Output reportedly is between 25,000 and 50,000 units a month.

Reports in April revealed the smartphone giant planned to start assembling iPhones in India on a trial basis this month.

Apple reached a deal in mid-February to start assembling lower-priced iPhones in India, with contract manufacturer Wistron to set up a facility in technology hub Bengaluru (Bangalore) to produce only iPhones. Sources said at the time Apple planned to go ahead with production without waiting for the government to approve a list of requested tax incentives.

With growth slowing in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, Apple is looking to India to be an engine of growth in the coming years. The US-based vendor aims to take advantage of rapid smartphone growth in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market.

According to IDC, smartphone shipments in India increased 14.8 per cent year-on-year to 27 million units in Q1.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in early May the company was: “going into the country on a number of fronts. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for Apple there”.

China was once again the weak spot for Apple in the company’s fiscal Q2 ending 31 March, with revenue in greater China dropping 14 per cent to $10.8 billion.