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Published: Fri, December 23, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Apple may soon start manufacturing iPhones, iPads in India

Apple may soon start manufacturing iPhones, iPads in India

Last month, the tech giant sent a letter to the Indian government outlining its plans and seeking financial incentives. Senior Trade Ministry authorities in recent weeks met to discuss the matter.

Apple could become the latest brand to get its smartphones manufactured in India.

India's smartphone market is expected to eclipse the U.S.by next year, coming in second to China, according to market research firm IDC. For years, sales in China fueled Apple's expansion, but now growth there is slowing. "The company wants financial incentives, which the concerned government departments are looking into", the official said.

Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn), which makes Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads, has a manufacturing facility in southern India.

Apple in January said it had sought government permission to open its own stores in India, which analysts say would help it gain exposure in the country. In addition to that, Apple will be able to sell its locally-made iPhone for less than what you pay right now (custom and excise taxes inclusive of the iPhone price).

Rumours about Apple's local manufacturing and local retail stores have been making rounds for more than a year now. Apple now sells its devices in the country through locally owned distributors and retailers. Foxconn didn't respond to requests for comment.

Apple wants to assemble their iPhones in India, which are now imported as CBU or completely built units, due to which iPhone prices are very high (in fact some of the highest in the world). The visit solidified the country's importance to Apple, and roused hope that the company's iconic brick-and-mortar outlets would soon be opening in the country. We are not here for a year or few years, we are here for a long time, 100s of years.

Analysts have long predicted that Apple would eventually build out its presence in India, where it now controls less than 5% of the smartphone market and struggles to beat out both domestic and Chinese vendors.

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