The government’s decision to hike the customs duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for mobile handsets is a statutory industry-wise hike, Apple India said on Saturday. “There is no comment on this as it’s a statutory industry-wise duty hike,” an Apple official told IANS. The notification issued by the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry said customs duty will go up from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for mobile handsets. Currently, Apple is assembling iPhone SE model at its Bengaluru facility with Wistron Corporation, its Taiwanese manufacturing partner. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is also seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country.
Experts say that with this decision, Apple has two choices. “Apple will either have to increase the price of handsets or start assembling more in the country,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, had told IANS. Domestic and some China-based manufacturers will not be affected as most of them are assembly a lot in the country, including South Korean giant Samsung. “They just need to rev up their assembly lines,” Pathak added.