Apple reportedly is all set to start the iPhone assembly trial in Bangalore next month, which would make India the third country to assemble iPhones.
According to an Economic Times report, Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Wistron, with whom Apple has a contract – will start assembling the iPhones in its Bangalore unit, said the Karnataka state officials.
“We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway,” a state government official told ET. Instead the state wants Apple to bring its entire component making ecosystem to Bangalore and start exporting from here, said the official.
Apple had already sought some concessions from the central government to incentivise the high-end component manufacturers of iPhones to move to India, but hasn’t seen much progress with the requests far.
But, without the component manufacturers’ presence, it will be difficult for the Apple to start full-fledged manufacturing operations in India.
Apparently, besides 30 percent relaxation in the component sourcing, Apple had also asked GST waiver for a certain period as well as an exemption from the customs duty on imports of components and equipment for 15 years.
Karnataka’s IT minister Priyank Kharge reportedly has asked the centre to encourage high-end tech manufacturing and let the global majors to build the ecosystem first.
The state officials expects Apple will anyway continue with its assembly plans in Bangalore, as India, no doubt is a crucial growth market for Apple. According to a report by Counterpoint research, the company sold a record 2.5 million units of iPhones in the country in 2016. Apple also led the premium smartphones segment in Q4 of 2016, with 62 per cent market share.