Ever since PM Narendra Modi met Apple CEO Tim Cook during his visit to the US last year, there have been wide spread speculations about when the iPhone-maker will start manufacturing in India. Though Cook wouldn’t reveal Apple’s plans during his recent India visit, he did say that manufacturing was something they would “logically look at.” Now a report claims that Apple has approached Foxconn to look at a possibility of manufacturing iPhones in India in the next two to three years. Also Read - iPhone 11 selling with more than Rs 8,000 discount in India, but for a limited periodAlso Read - Apple App store removes this popular dating app for spreading misinformation
Foxconn is one of Apple’s chief manufacturing partners and has been operating in India for quite a while now. According to ET, the earliest we can expect iPhones to be locally manufactured would be in two to three years, but Apple and Foxconn could start assembling iPhones in the country before that. “There’s definitely interest,” one of the publication’s sources was quoted as saying, and the talks are believed to have started during Cook’s visit to India earlier this year. Though there is no timeline mentioned yet, recent reports claim that the Maharashtra government approached Foxconn to set up a $10 billion manufacturing plant on a 1,200-acre land, which will be operational by 2017-end. Also Read - Apple adds UPI, RuPay, net banking on App Store: How to add new payment methods
It’s not the first time we are hearing about plans to start manufacturing iPhones in India, and there does seem to be genuine interest on Apple’s part. Local manufacturing would not only help Apple bring new products to India faster, but also bring down the prices as well. In a price-sensitive market like India, Apple would greatly benefit by not having to pay high import duties, resulting in aggressively priced iPhones. Once the manufacturing line has been set up, Apple is also said to be looking at India as an export hub for the neighboring regions.
India has been like a beacon of light for Apple amid falling iPhone sales globally. Apple has continued its growth in double-digits in India, and according to a recent report, it is among the second-fastest growing smartphone brand in India. Currently, it closely follows Samsung in the premium smartphone segment in India with a market share of 47 percent. But one thing that Apple aims to improve is its two percent overall market share, whereas Samsung in comparison, controls a 25.6 percent market share.
During his recent trip to India, CEO Tim Cook inaugurated an app design and development accelerator in Bengaluru, as well as announced a new office in Hyderabad to accelerate maps development. Since his visit, Apple has also been in talks with the Indian government for permission to set up Apple Stores in India. Cook had also approached the government for permission to sell and manufacture refurbished iPhones in India, but that has met opposition from a lot of quarters citing potential environmental issues.
Later tonight, Apple will be unveiling its next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones at an event in San Francisco. Going by how gung-ho Apple has been about India, there are reports claiming that the new iPhones arrive as early as this month itself. While it won’t be a massive surprise if they do, but it is something we would advise you to take it with the proverbial pinch of salt. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch 2 to launch today: Here is everything we already know