Apple may start 'trial assembly' in Karnataka by next month; could manufacture midrange devices like iPhoneSE in India

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 20, 2017  | 12:56 IST
Apple may start 'trial assembly' in Karnataka by next month

Apple will most likely start its "trial assembly" of iPhones in India from next month. Although Apple hasn't received a response from the government regarding special consessions, the American company has reportedly decided to go ahead with their operations in India.

In January this year, Apple Inc indicated the Indian government that it is ready with a blueprint to begin manufacturing iPhones in India, but wants fiscal concessions, including Customs duty waiver on import of components.

Apple faced resistance from India's beaucracy while looking for these special relaxations. The government officials justified their stance by suggesting that these concessions will be unfair on the foreign companies that are already manufacturing in India.

According to a report by ET Tech, State officials in Karnataka stated that Apple is expected to setup the assembly by next month. However, this wouldn't necessarily mean that the Cupertino-based company will give up its requests for certain concessions. According to the officials, the company's interaction with the centre will remain unaffected.

"We are working to see that (Apple) brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here," one of the officials said. "We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway."

Karnataka's industries minister RV Deshpande  is continually approaching members of the union cabinet with Apple's issues.

With sales tapering in the US and China, Apple is eyeing India -- the fastest growing smartphone market in the world -- and looking to set up a local manufacturing unit to cut costs.

The most obvious and consumer-centric change will be in the pricing of the iPhones manufactured in India. The company will benefit out of lower taxes and no custom duty will be charged which will directly impact the prices of the devices.

The Cupertino giant will test the waters by manufacturing midrange devices like iPhoneSE. Hence, the only devices that will get a substantial cut in prices will fall in the compact form factor.


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