iPhones could be manufactured in Bangalore from next year.
Apple is getting serious about manufacturing iPhones locally in India. The company has filed a request to the government for a single-brand retail license, which would allow it to sell products online and open retail stores in the country. Alongside its retail ambitions, Apple is also looking to set up manufacturing in the country.
Local manufacturing will allow Apple to price its products more competitively. Currently, all imported goods attract a 12.5% duty, and as such it makes sense for the company to explore local options. Accrordong to unnamed sources speaking to The Times of India, Apple is "very serious" anout local manufacturing, with local assembly set to kick off as early as April 2017.
Foxconn is investing in several factories in India, but the company is also collaborating with the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus for local production. As such, it looks like Apple will start local operations with Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM that is setting up a factory in Bangalore's industrial hub Peenya.
Apple's job site is currently listing several jobs based out of Bengaluru, including iPhone Operations Program Manager, Partnership Manager, Site Reliability Engineer, and others. Setting up a facility in Bangalore makes a lot of sense as there's an abundance of talent easily available. Apple also opened an iOS design and development accelerator in the city earlier this year.
Setting up the factories could be dependent on the Indian government. Apple asked the government last month for financial incentives, and the relevant ministry officials are expected to meet shortly to discuss its request.