Apple To Begin Making iPhones In India By April EndBy Gladys Abbott Feb 07, 2017
After its long tussle with the Indian government Apple has, in all probability, chose to set shop in India.
The report also suggests Apple is pulling back on production of the iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as manufacturing starts to shift to the newer device. India's fast-growing middle class presents an obvious opportunity, but with average annual incomes of United States dollars 1,500, most of its 1.3 billion people can't afford Apple's expensive products.
Apple's representatives - Priya Balasubramaniam (vice president, iPhone operations), Ali Khanafer (head, government affairs), Dheeraj Chugh (director, iPhone operations) and Priyesh Povanna (country counsel) have also held a meeting with Karnataka ministers and respective departmental secretaries to sort out long-term tax incentives and other bureaucratic procedures for setting up of the iPhone manufacturing unit.
Some reports said that Apple does not producing gadgets itself, rather joins forces with contract manufacturers to deal with the capital intensive demands of building production lines and hiring staff. Wistron Corp and Foxconn, which have built iPhone parts in the past, already exists in India and these companies can pull Apple out of this situation.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has made it abundantly clear that India "is the place to be".
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Apple has yet to officially confirm the plan, saying only that it is keen to "invest significantly" in India.
At this point, it's not known if Apple would be allowed to sell used iPhones in the country, but previous requests of the company do this were highly criticized by officials and rivals alike. Its sales in the country crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2015, highlighting the growing importance of this market, according to results filed with the registrar of companies. Besides exemption from the Customs duty on imports of components and equipment for 15 years, Apple wants relaxation in the mandated 30 percent local sourcing of components. But with other countries, also, wanting to get in on the whole "iPhone Made [Here]' bandwagon - well, let's just say this should be an interesting year for Cupertino and its 'crown jewel". Apple could be making iPhone in India very soon.
The company is exerting its brand influence at the negotiating table, calling these discarded phones as pre-owned devices, so that it can compete in a price sensitive market pitting its used phones against new and cheaper phones available in the market.
Global iPhone sales dropped in 2016, but growth remained strong in India with annual phone sales reaching almost 2.5 million phones past year. So far, Apple's manufacturing needs have primarily been met by Chinese and Taiwanese companies.
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