Apple may be serious about producing the iPhone in India
Apple is now in discussions with the government to set up its production in India.
It looks like Apple is finally ready to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative.
Apple is in talks with the Government for the possibility of manufacturing its products, including the iPhone, in India, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which quoted two senior government official saying.
Apple has, in fact, sent a letter to the government last month outlining its plans for setting up the production in India and sought financial incentives from the government to move ahead, the report said. The company also met with senior Trade Ministry authorities in recent weeks to discuss the matter.
Apple, by setting up its production in India, would allow it open its own stores in India, which is looked at aiding its efforts in increasing its share in the second-largest phone market. The company currently has less than 5% share of the market in the country.
Earlier this year in May Apple's CEO Tim Cook's visit to India had failed to convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi to agree to sell its refurbished phones into the Indian market. The company for some time had been eyeing India as a market for its refurbished phones as it could capture the lower price segments, which is the biggest chunk of sales in the country.
Since this has not worked out, it looks like it is ready to set up its manufacturing in India and like China make it the base for production of iPhone.
Considering that the Indian smartphone market is expected to overtake the US next year as the world's second-largest behind China, according to IDC, it makes sense for it to set up production in the country.
The government too has loosened foreigner direct investment (FDI) norms in June in several sectors and said that companies such as Apple could open their stores in India provided that they purchase 30% of their manufacturing materials from Indian vendors after three years.
The reason why Apple till now refrained from setting up its manufacturing in India was that there are not many high-end smartphone part producers in India from which they could buy from.