The talk about Apple wanting to manufacture its iPhones in India has been going on for quite some time now. According to an update on Buzz Feed Apple may soon start its manufacturing plant in, where else, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Here on TechBakBak.com we have already written about the possibility of Apple starting to manufacture its iPhones in India. Aside from manufacturing iPhones in India, Apple has also been trying to open its own official retail stores in India to sell its products directly instead of through middle persons.
The recent announcement, as reported by Buzz Feed, was made by the IT Minister of Karnataka, Priyank Kharge. In a statement to the local press he has said, “I welcome Apple Inc.’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the state.”
As reported in Mint, the Karnataka IT minister said
Apple’s decision on initial manufacturing in Bengaluru has further enhanced the reputation of Bengaluru as the most preferred destination for foreign investment and further validation of the state government policies aimed at fostering manufacturing, innovation and investments in Karnataka.
In China, Foxconn manufactures iPhones for Apple, but in India, it will be the Taiwan-based Wistron Corp that will be manufacturing iPhones in India. Wistron Corp seems to have finalized a location in Peenya, an industrial suburb of Bengaluru. In previous years, thousands of businesses have flocked to China to manufacture all kinds of products and that still seems to be the case, with Apple being the exception. When outsourcing manufacturing to an overseas plant, the price of labor becomes much more affordable and it’s likely that the plant will be more productive compared to a US based plant. There are also numerous third-party companies like Jonble which are there to help businesses move their production overseas. From auditing factories to quality control services, it’s no wonder companies move overseas when it’s so affordable and help is always on hand.
The first phase of the manufacturing operations should begin between April and June. In the beginning Apple will be manufacturing iPhones mostly for the Indian market.
Apple has been facing hurdles because according to Indian laws, foreign companies have to procure 30% of the components locally and Apple was seeking concessions from the Indian government regarding this. Multiple negotiations had failed. But after prolonged negotiations with Apple India Private Limited, things seem to have started moving forward.
The official statement has said that representatives from Apple including Priya Balasubramaniam, Vice President, iPhone operations, Ali Khanafer, head, government affairs, Dheeraj Chugh, director, iPhone operations, and Priyesh Povanna, country Council, had a successful meeting with the Karnataka government officials.
Apple has got big plans for India. Recently the Apple CEO Tim Cook told Wall Street Journal that the company is in discussion with the Indian government to open multiple retail stores in the country in order to sell its devices directly to consumers. Despite the recent demonetization Apple showed “all-time record revenue results” in India.
Apple has also opened its first development centre in India in Hyderabad where programmers are working on Apple Maps, Apple’s equivalent to Google maps.