Apple to make iPhones in India this year

Posted February 05, 2017

"We have an understanding with Apple and we expect them to start manufacturing in Karnataka by the end of April", Priyank Kharge, minister of information technology and biotechnology in southern Karnataka state, told AFP.

The Karnataka Government has accepted Apple Inc's proposal to begin manufacturing operations in Bengaluru.

Currently, no concrete timeline exists for when the factory in Bengaluru will begin production, however, Indian media is reporting a June 2017 opening date.

In fact, it was earlier reported in May that Apple had announced setting up a design and development accelerator in the city.

Apple would neither confirm nor deny the Indian official's remarks.

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"Apple's representatives led by Ms. Priya Balasubramaniam, VP iPhone operations, Mr. Ali Khanafer (Head, Government Affairs), Mr.Dheeraj Chugh (Director, iphone operations) and Mr. Priyesh Povanna (Country Counsel) met with Ministers and officials of Government of Karnataka and had positive discussions about the initiatives in manufacturing and possible collaborations with state Government in other areas", said Kharge via the press note.

"Apple's iPhones will be made in Bangalore and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market". Mainly due to Apple selling iPhones only through local distributors.

India is becoming important to Apple.

It applied to open Apple Stores in India a year ago, but was reportedly rebuffed because of a diktat that states foreign retailers must source 30% of their products locally. Its sales in the country crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2015, highlighting the growing importance of this market, according to results filed with the registrar of companies.

India has more than 300 million Smartphone users, according to technology research firm Counterpoint.

The reason for this is that Apple is being prevented to put up Apple Stores in India by a national rule that foreign retailers can only sell products if 30% of the raw materials used to craft the products are sourced locally. In August 2015, China-based Lenovo Group Ltd with Singapore-based contract manufacturer Flextronics International started assembling smartphones at its facility in Chennai.