Apple will start manufacturing iPhones in India. The assembly facility will come up at Bengaluru, and it will be operated by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron. Though an exact time frame has not been announced, production is expected to kick off in June.
The announcement comes via a press release signed by Karnataka state’s information technology minister Priyank Kharge. “We made concerted efforts to reach out to Apple directly. We want to create a conducive environment for global majors like Apple,” Kharge told ToI. “Apple’s iPhones will be made in Bangalore and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market,” he added. Reports say states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana too were competing for the Apple facility.
Kharge was also quoted as saying, “We did not discuss any other incentives.” This is important because Apple was in the news a lot for allegedly lobbying towards favorable incentives to finally start manufacturing its devices in India. Needless to say, this did not sit well with other manufacturers.
When the Bengaluru plant is operational later this year, India will become the third country globally to assemble iPhones. Make in India iPhones is a part of Apple’s renewed focus towards the country, which has fast become among the most important markets for the company. During the recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook reiterated that India was the ‘place to be’ and also announced that the company had seen double-digit growth across segments.
Recently, a Counterpoint report revealed that Apple had shipped 2.5 million iPhones in India in 2016, making their highest ever. While it still lags behind in the 10th position as far as smartphone companies in India are concerned, Apple did top the premium smartphone segment — Rs 30,000 and above — with a 62 percent market share.
Written with inputs from BGR