Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron is setting up a plant at Peenya in Bangalore to manufacture or assemble iPhones for the tech giant, a report in Times of India said. While Apple declined to comment on the news, the report quoted industry sources as saying that production at the plant will start as early as April 2017.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook met Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year, the latter had impressed on the need to start local manufacturing. Apple too agrees that India is an important growth market for the company. However, the need to source a certain percentage of raw material locally had become an obstacle for the same, as India does not have a robust component supply chain like in China.
An earlier report in Economic Times had mentioned how Apple was looking at certain flexibility with product packaging in India so that it conforms to its design language.
Local manufacturing will make Apple products cheaper as imported goods have a 12.5 per cent duty on it. This would make its products more competitive in the India market, where it already enjoys a good market share in the top-end price brackets.
Exactly a year ago, Apple had sought government permission “to import and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India; manufacture and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India.” An earlier plan of the kind had been turned down by the government in July 2015.