Apple is a crucial client for Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM for the company. Thus, it is planning to extend it scope beyond the service center and enter the Indian market with its manufacturing facility in Bengaluru. This has further led to the speculations relating to Apple’s plan of assembling/manufacturing iPhones in the country. Apple may officially declare its intentions of creating its next assembly and manufacturing hub in India as Wistron has pushed its application to be fast-tracked.
As reported to Reuters by a state government official from Karnataka, Wistron has recently applied for permission to expand its plant in Bengaluru. He added,
Wistron has approached us to expedite certain clearances with regards to the augmentation and expansion of its existing unit.
With Wistron keen to expand in India, it is very much possible that Apple may start manufacturing by April. Apple’s move towards manufacturing in the country would highly be beneficial for the government as it will help attract other global manufacturers under its ‘Make in India’ initiative. The news comes out just after the company was spotted discussing the possibility of assembling products in India by The Wall Street Journal.
Currently, Apple only holds 2% of Indian market. With an in-house assembling hub, the company could offer devices at lower cost due to discharge of its 12.5% additional import duty. Further, recent visits of chief executive Tim Cook along with Wistron’s pace both point to Apple’s interest in India. India being one of the largest smartphone market in the world and witnessing the growing popularity of the brand in India, the company may take the step soon, predictably by the end of first quarter of 2017. Gartner research director Anshul Gupta commented on the matter as,
Certainly that (local manufacturing) will help in some level of cost optimization,Because looking at the current tax structure, local facilities do provide some kind of cost advantage.
Foxconn, another leading supplier for Apple is already established in India. The Cupertino giant’s presence in the country in hand with leading suppliers will hence boost up the sales with swift availability of its parts.