New Delhi: It’s official! Apple will make iPhones in India at Bengaluru facility. Although there is no mention on the production date, some media reports say that it is expected to begin in June.
The Government of Karnataka has said it welcomes Apple Inc.’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the city.
“Apple’s intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster cutting edge technology eco system and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” an official release signed by Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge said.
It said Apple’s representatives, led by Priya Balasubramaniam, VP iPhone operations, Ali Khanafer (Head, Government Affairs),Dheeraj Chugh (Director,iphone operations) and Priyesh Povanna (Country Counsel) met Ministers and officials of the Karnataka Government and had positive discussions about the initiatives in manufacturing and possible collaborations with state Government in other areas.
The release did not detail about what the initial manufacturing operations would be. However, reports quoting highly placed government sources had earlier said that the iconic iPhones would be manufactured in Bengaluru by Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple.
Local manufacturing is expected to help Apple price its phones more competitively in India as it currently attracts 12.5 percent additional duty on imports.
This would be Apple’s second big project for Bengaluru. In May, Apple had announced setting up a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community.
The announcement was made as part of the visit of Apple CEO Tim Cook to India.
Apple ships iPhones to India from Foxconn Technology firm in China and sells them through distributors and retailers, besides iStore and Imagine stores.
Though the central government has told Apple that it would have to source 30 percent of its components from Indian suppliers, Apple is seeking a 15-year tax holiday on import of components and equipment.
With many states wooing Apple for its Indian plant in their cities, the iPhones maker has been exploring a best deal, including tax reliefs and exemptions from local sourcing.