- Apple and other firms are reportedly pressing for the incentive slated for February 2021 to be increased to a cap of 200 billion rupees.
- It is not clear if Foxconn, Wistron, or Pegatron will carry out the local assembly of products.
- The report also noted that the New Delhi authorities are also planning a similar incentive scheme to boost the production of wearables such as smartwatches.
Apple is looking at lobbying the India incentives as it aims to assemble iPads locally. The new performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which offers cash-back to manufacturers for exports, will have a budget of up to Rs 700 crore over five years, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The PLI is expected to launch by the end of February 2021. Apple and other firms are reportedly pressing for that incentive to be increased to a cap of 200 billion rupees. Sources also noted that India does not yet have the scale or the supply chain for making IT products and competes with duty-free imports of tech products.
Apple's top supplier Foxconn is building assembly lines for iPad and MacBooks in Vietnam. Other iPad assemblers include Taiwan's Compal Electronics and China's BYD Electronics International. One of Apple's current contractors in India will likely carry out the local assembly process of iPads. However, it is not clear which one of the contract manufacturers it will be -- Foxconn, Wistron, or Pegatron. The chaos that took place in Apple's supplier Wistron factory in Karnataka last year when angry workers went on a rampage is still fresh as the company slowly restarts its operations at the unit. Apple has not taken the Taiwan manufacturer off of probation yet. "We are dedicated to ensuring that workers are protected and treated with dignity and respect. Wistron remains on probation and we will monitor their progress closely," an Apple spokesperson in a statement to India Today Tech had said.
Last year, India had launched a 6.7 billion plan to boost smartphone exports. Apple took part in the scheme last year via contract manufacturers. The three Apple suppliers have also committed roughly $900 million over 5 years to make iPhones in India. The report also noted that the New Delhi authorities are also planning a similar incentive scheme to boost the production of wearables such as smartwatches. The plan can reportedly be announced in two months. This scheme is expected to provide companies with 50 billion rupees over five years. The Cupertino, California-based company began the assembly of iPhones in India in 2017 and has ramped up the local manufacturing through Foxconn and Wistron. Pegatron also set a base in India last year.