Apple to start making the iPhone in India

Apple moves ahead with its plans to manufacture in India, a few steps closer to Make in India

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    • Apple submits proposal to manufacture in Bangalore
    • Decision on Tax concessions still awaited
    • The plant will be setup by Wistron corp, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner

Over the last few months, we’ve heard plenty of chatter about Apple moving ahead with its plans to manufacture the iPhone in India. Recently, we heard that the plans may have hit a small bump, as the government mulls over its decision to offer special tax concessions to the Cupertino company. In a new development, it seems that Apple will continue to move ahead with their plans, initially by setting up a plan in Bangalore, Karnataka.
The information comes via a tweet by Priyank Kharge, the Minister of Information & Technology for the state of Karnataka. Mr. Kharge tweeted that “Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state.”

Despite Apple’s request for tax concessions being up in the air, it is clear that Apple is committed to exploring all their options for manufacturing in India. Despite not getting the tax concessions they had hoped for (the decision is still pending), along with the recently announced 2% hike in duty on populated printed circuit boards, one would assume that the incentive to manufacture in India was low. On the other hand, India is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world, and one that is extremely fond of the Apple iPhone.
Apple and the Indian government have been in talks for quite some time now over the future of Apple manufacturing in India. Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year in May to start fleshing out the details of how the Company and the Country could work together to bring a part of Apple’s manufacturing arm to India. Apple has sought a number of concessions, one of which happens to be the relief in labelling laws, in addition to some leniency in taxation. The ministry of finance is currently assessing the request before they come to a decision.

The government of Karnataka, however issued a press release ‘Welcoming the move’. Apple’s proposal will commence initial manufacturing operations in Karnataka. The press statement reads, “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 Counsel) 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.” With an official word from the Government of Karnataka, we now await details from Apple with regards to their roadmap.