Apple Inc to start manufacturing Made in India iPhones in Bengaluru starting April: Karnataka Govt

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Bengaluru | Published: February 4, 2017 4:57:56 AM

iPhone maker Apple Inc will commence smartphone production at its upcoming factory in Bengaluru by end of April or early May.

Apple is keen on setting up its local manufacturing in India as it is looking to gain a greater market share in the growing smartphone market. (Reuters)Apple is keen on setting up its local manufacturing in India as it is looking to gain a greater market share in the growing smartphone market. (Reuters)

iPhone maker Apple Inc will commence smartphone production at its upcoming factory in Bengaluru by end of April or early May. The Karnataka government on Thursday announced that the company was in discussion with the government on setting up a manufacturing facility in Bengaluru.

“Apple would commence the assembly of iPhone 6 and iPhone7 models at a facility in Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru by the end of April or early May. Their plant in Bengaluru will be set up through their partner Wistron Corp of Taiwan,” Priyank Kharge, minister for information technology, government of Karnataka told FE.

California-based smartphone maker approached the state government more than six months ago and both the government and the company started working on their new facility immediately after that, he said. The government has given concessions to Apple as per the existing Industrial Policy and no special incentives or tax concessions were given as yet. “The company has not asked us for any special concessions as of now. We are willing to give them (Apple) what they want as per the prevailing policies”, Kharge said, adding that the government was still in talks with the company.

He, however, declined to comment on the exact amount of investment the company would make in Bengaluru plant and what would be the manufacturing capacity. “They want to produce as much as they need to cater to the domestic market,” Kharge said. Apple will be manufacturing their latest smartphones at their plant in Bengaluru and cater to the requirements of the domestic market. The company has not committed anything on making other devices at this stage, he said, adding that the latest smartphones will be made in Karnataka.

The California-based smartphone maker has been in talks with the Central government for certain concessions before it finalises its proposal to set up a manufacturing facility in India. However, the company had demanded for exemptions from local sourcing of inputs for its manufacturing. Besides, it had also asked the government for several tax concessions.

The government of India has told Apple that it has to procure 30% of its components locally, whereas Apple is seeking a 15-year tax holiday on import of components and equipment. The talks between the two are still inconclusive.

Apple is keen on setting up its local manufacturing in India as it is looking to gain a greater market share in the growing smartphone market.

Last year, Apple sold 2.5 million smartphones in India as against 29 million units sold by rival Samsung. Currently, Apple imports products from China, which are made by Foxconn Technology and sold in India through a network of local distributors and retailers. It has arrangements with Imagine and iStore.

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