Apple is expected to start “trial assembly” of iPhones in India next month in the industrial unit of Peenya, Bengaluru, without waiting for the government to decide on its requests for certain concessions.
According to an Economic Times report, Apple, in partnership with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron, will begin assembling the iconic phones at its Bengaluru unit next month.
The Karnataka government has also been pursuing Apple’s case with the Centre.
“We are working to see that (Apple) brings its entire component making ecosystem to Bengaluru and begins to export from here. We are not much concerned about Apple making iPhones for the domestic market, which will happen anyway,” Economic Times quoted a state official as saying.
Apple has been lobbying with the Centre to get some additional sops over and above what India’s foreign investment policies allow. This includes the waiver of countervailing duty (CVD) on import of components that go into the making of iPhones.
“The application (of Apple) has not made much headway after passing through key ministries such as commerce, technology and finance,” according to a Karnataka government official who is of the view that the Centre may be concerned that such a waiver will not fit into the framework of the proposed goods and services tax that is expected to be rolled out from July 1.
Wistron will begin assembling iPhones from its existing facility in the manufacturing hub of Peenya, in west Bengaluru.
According to the report, Wistron is also expected to establish brand new facilities for component manufacturing at a second location later.
Karnataka’s industries minister RV Deshpande said he discussed Apple’s issues with Union minsters Arun Jaitley and Nirmala Seetharaman more than once in recent months. “They assured me they will do whatever is possible,” he said.