India is the second biggest smartphone market in the world.
Technology giant Apple Inc. will start a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru in April, Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge announced on Twitter.
The company has been in discussions with the state and central ministry about opening a unit; however, details regarding the same were not shared with the news media.
Apple also wants to set up its stores in India but, according to reports, the government has proposed that the iPhone-maker first source iPhone components locally. This, as per Indian authorities, will boost the manufacturing sector of India and reduce the cost of the premium smartphone.
The California company had approached the Indian government to request tax reductions, including reducing the import and manufacturing duties, which the government had categorically refused.
The Union Minister for Trade, Nirmala Sitharaman, told Apple sometime back that if it gets concessions, the same can be availed by other smartphone manufacturers. She explained that the government cannot be partisan when it comes to taking policy decisions.
The latest statement by Karnataka state minister suggests that Apple sees India as a burgeoning market for its smartphones.
The Karnataka government’s official statement said: “Apple’s representatives led by Ms. Priya Balasubramaniam, VP iPhone operations, Mr. Ali Khanafer (Head, Government Affairs), Mr.Dheeraj Chugh (Director, iPhone operations) and Mr. Priyesh Povanna (Country Council) met with Ministers and officials of Government of Karnataka and had positive discussions about the initiatives in manufacturing and possible collaborations with state Government in other areas.”
Apple might soon collaborate with Wistron, a Taiwanese manufacturing contractor, for starting iPhone manufacturing operations in India, Reuters reported.
In his tweet, Kharge said, “Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state.”
Talking to Bloomberg News, Kharge had even said that all the iPhones manufactured on the Indian soil will be used to meet the demands of the Indian market.