Apple’s plans to manufacture iPhones in India is not one of the best kept secrets, and rumors have been circulating ever since CEO Tim Cook met PM Narendra Modi at Silicon Valley last year. But Cook has dashed any hopes of an announcement during his current India visit. While he did say that Apple will eventually look at manufacturing in India, it is not likely to be anytime soon. Also Read - New iPhone SE to be the most affordable 5G phone from Apple, to launch in 2022Also Read - iPhone 13 launch date and more details tipped as part of new leaks
On being asked about Apple’s plans to manufacture iPhones in India, Cook told The Hindu, “We are looking at India as a partner across, not just for any one area. Manufacturing is something logically we will look at.” Also Read - iPhone 12 Mini reaches end of production already, say rumours
While it can be seen as a positive sign, you shouldn’t hold your breath for it. “It is something we will look over time. On this particular trip we are focusing on the maps centre, which we have opened, that will ramp up to 4,000 employees over the next few quarters, and then the app accelerator in Bengaluru, which is about encouraging developers and entrepreneurs,” Cook said.
Apple has only now turned its focus towards India, where its market share stands at a miniscule two percent. But amid dipping revenues in the West and China, India stands out as a shining beacon with iPhone sales growing by over 50 percent. One of the first announcements after Cook arrived in India was about the iOS app design and development accelerator, which will come up sometime next year in Bengaluru. Apple has also set up a technology development center in Hyderabad, which will focus on Apple’s Maps.
Cook’s statement reverberates IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s statements earlier this month, when he said, Apple is coming to India, only to manufacture new products, as part of the electronic manufacturing programs. There were subsequent reports that Apple’s electronic manufacturing partner Foxconn was scouting locations in Maharashtra and had shortlisted a 1,200-acre land to set up a $10 billion plant.