Very recently, Chinese smartphone maker Oppo received a green-signal to open single-brand retail stores in India, something Apple has been trying for almost a year now. However, it looks like Apple has finally convinced the Government of India to consider tax exemptions for setting up a manufacturing unit to assemble iPhones in India. Also Read - Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' job application sold for over Rs 2.5 croreAlso Read - Apple iOS 15, iPadOS 15 beta 4 released: What’s new, how to download
As of now, the government of India allows foreign brands to sell their products via the single-brand retail route, for which the brands need to source 30 percent of the products locally. Although the guideline has been partially relaxed by exempting foreign retailers for three years from the mandatory local sourcing.
According to a report by Reuters, Ramesh Abhishek, the top bureaucrat in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, said that the government is considering Apple’s requests on certain tax breaks. The final results of which will allow Apple to open its single-branded retail stores in the country. ALSO READ: Apple to ramp up local manufacturing, retail operations in India: CEO Tim Cook
Previously, Apple was not receiving any tax breaks and concessions under the indirect tax imposition of GST. This is due to the fact that the government is pushing its efforts for Make in India initiative, instead of importing goods and products. The Cupertino-based company had sought a 15-year tax exemption for its imported products in the country. Apple had also sought a waiver of the 30 percent local sourcing norms for setting up its own retail stores. The government s policy mentioned that Apple will have to purchase a minimum of 30 percent of manufacturing materials from local vendors after a period of three years. ALSO READ: Refreshed Apple iPhone SE likely to launch in early 2018
As far as Make in India is concerned, Apple has started assembling the iPhone SE, at a factory in Bengaluru, which is being run by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron. The company previously sold its products in India through contracts with stores such as Imagine and the Reliance Digital-owned iStore. In fact, the first batch of made-in-India iPhone SE went on sale in Bengaluru in June, in two variants the 32GB model at Rs 27,000 and the 128GB variant for Rs 37,200. ALSO READ: Apple transparency report: Requests for user data by Indian government on a rise
If everything goes well and Apple gets the approval to set up its single-brand retail stores in India, India will be the third major country globally to assemble iPhones after China and the US. This is also an indication of how important the country has become for foreign brands like Apple.