Aug 3, 2017: Apple Inc has suggested to the Indian government that it can manufacture iPhones in India if the Indian government considers offering tax exemptions to its suppliers. This would make India a manufacturing hub for iPhones and its components.
However, to consider Apple’s request, it would require India to make a new policy that applies to other device makers as well. The Indian government and Apple seek to manufacture a full range of iPhones for the domestic market, and for export as well.
Apple has been in talks with the Indian government since May 2016, when the company’s CEO Tim Cook and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed setting up a production base in the country to do actual manufacturing and not just assembling smartphones, as is the situation currently.
India has been discussing with Apple a list of “prerequisites” that the company had submitted in October 2016. The priority in the list is duty exemption on raw materials for manufacturing components and the main equipment for at least 15 years for it to manufacture iPhones in India.
Apple said that it would consider bringing in a host of ancillary units as well to India if the government make proper arrangements for operations to cater to India, which one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets. It is the world’s third largest market for smartphones after the US and China, but it has only a 2% share in the global market.