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iPhone assembly unit in Bangalore to start trial next month, report

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There is no official word about which iPhone will be first to come out from the unit.

According to the Economic Times, the US-tech giant is all set to start the operations of the unit, which is in partnership with a Taiwanese manufacturing firm Wistron.

Surprisingly, Apple’s decision to start the manufacturing comes before the Indian government’s announcement on whether it would grant any relaxations to the tech company for setting up the manufacturing unit.

According to the report, Apple has decided to go ahead with the trial run of the assembly unit. The government of Karnataka has been pushing the center in favor of Apple and now it seems like Apple is going ahead with the proposal without waiting for the government freebies.

“We are working to see that (Apple) brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here,” one of the officials said. “We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway.”

The US tech giants have been negotiating with the government for exemption from Countervailing Duty (CVD) incurred while importing components for making iPhones. As of now, the government policies don’t allow such sops and the center has declined to give Apple special waivers.

Under the Make in India initiative, the government has introduced several policies to attract foreign companies including the differential duty structure, modified special incentive package scheme (MSIPS) and zero-duty on the import of all components except adapters, batteries, and headsets etc.

As of now, there is no official word about which iPhone will be first to come out from the Peenya assembly unit in Bangalore, but rumors suggest that Apple might consider iPhone 6 and 6S rather than going for the latest iPhone 7.

The Union Minister for Trade, Nirmala Sitharaman, told Apple some time 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.

Apple had also asked government support for setting up Apple Stores in different locations in India. The government, however, has asked the iPhone-maker to first source iPhone components locally.