It was a major development when Apple showed interest in manufacturing its smartphones in India. And now it seems that the development is not so far away. As has been rumoured in a lot of previous reports, the company is going to start assembling the smartphones in India from next month.
Economic Times reports that Apple will start “trial assembly” of iPhones in India next month. Earlier, the California based company had asked for few incentives for starting manufacturing phones in India. However, regardless of the outcome of its requests, it will start the assembling process, suggests the report.
The assembling work will be handled by Taiwanese original design manufacturer Wistron, with which Apple has a contract. The assembling work will be carried out at its unit in a Bengaluru suburb.
Wistron will start assembling iPhones from its existing facility in the manufacturing hub of Peenya, in west Bengaluru. The company is also expected to establish brand new facilities for component manufacturing at a second location later.
One of the officials who is aware of the the company’s requests and governemnt developments, said:
We are working to see that (the company) brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here. We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway.
Since past few months, technology major Apple has been lobbying hard with the union government to get some additional incentives above and beyond India’s foreign investment policies. The incentives requested by Apple also includes the waiver of countervailing duty (CVD) on import of components that go into the making of iPhones.
This move from the Cupertino giant comes at a time when it seeks to boost its share in the world’s fastest growing major mobile market, where handsets far cheaper than Apple’s iPhones dominate the market. It also comes as Apple’s smartphone sales growth is slowing in Asia’s other massive market, China.
According to Counterpoint, Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones to India last year, with a third coming in the December quarter. The report also estimates that three-quarters of smartphones sold in India were made locally. In the fourth quarter, it ranked 10th in India’s smartphone market but led the premium segment with a 62 percent market share.