The mobile phone provider’s objective to assemble iPhones at the Bengaluru unit will provide cutting edge technology system and supply chain development in the state. These two are vital for India in a bid to face stiff competition globally, said IT minister Priyank Kharge.
While no deal or memorandum of understanding has been signed, it is thought Apple will continue with Wistron, an original equipment manufacturer of Apple to make iPhones here. The assembling unit is being set up in Peenya near Bengaluru. In December last year, Apple had published job openings on its portal for several positions at its unit in Bengaluru, including an iPhone operations programme manager. As per sources, production may begin in June.
When queried, Apple declined to comment on the opening of the new Wistron plant in Peenya. Apple had many demands to start with. They included an indefinite exemption from the 30 per cent domestic sourcing rule, for it would iPhones only for India, etc. Nothing is clear whether any of its demands have been met.
Officially, there is no clarity on what has happened (with the demands). But one thing, India is now a critical market for Apple. “Just as Apple needs India to increase its bottomline, India too has got a value proposition with Apple coming here. It will boost the Make in India programme and increase its credibility,” said Tarun Pathak, senior analyst, Counterpoint Research.
However, it is unlikely that the government would agree to all of Apple’s demands, he added.
The government said discussions are on with Apple for collaborations in other areas too. It did not specify what these areas are.