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Apple News: Apple eyes India for iPhone assembly; Production starts by end of April 2017 with Wistron as major supplier

By Mauricia | Feb 04, 2017 04:17 AM EST
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller speaks about iPhone docks during a Special Event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium September 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo : Getty Images/Stephen Lam)

India is opening its doors to Apple as the smartphone company decided to open a plant for the assembly of its iPhone flagships. The production is reported to start by the end of April this year. Information Technology Minister for the Indian state of Karnataka, Priyank Kharge confirmed the news following a Bloomberg interview on Thursday.

In January, Apple executives convene with Kharge to finalize the agreement. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook already met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May of last year.

"Apple's iPhones will be made in Bangalore [in Karnataka] and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market," Kharge informed Bloomberg. "We did not discuss any other incentives."

As reported by Fortune, Apple apparently provided India a 'wish list' along with the requirements for tax incentives. The giant tech company before asked for a firm loosening of laws compelling overseas retailers to source 30 percent of their materials domestically.

The assembling of Apple's iPhone will be located in the country's capital, Bangalore which is officially known as Bengaluru. The production will start by the end of April with Apple partnering with the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron to be the initial supplier in India.

It was reported that the assembled iPhones will be only be sold domestically. Still, Apple has a meager share in the Indian market due to the prices of devices which only the well-off can afford. With India having a statistics of nearly 1.3 billion, the state is a potential market for Apple's sales growth. The smartphone firm has only a 2 percent share of the Indian market while Samsung has 23 percent.

According to The Hindu, Apple's exclusive price has divided its brand from Samsung which has devices that are inexpensive but considered as high-end phones. Last year, the company's premium sector reached to 48 percent with devices selling at $450 and up.

Last year, Apple tried to operate an Apple Store, however, it was reportedly dismissed due to a decree stating that foreign retailers should procure 30 percent of their products domestically.

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