By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal
With India being one of the fastest growing smartphone markets, Apple has been haggling with the government authorities to set up their manufacturing unit as well as exclusive stores in the country for a majority of the last year. The Cupertino giant is now expected to meet up with ministry officials from on January 25 to discuss its long-standing plans of manufacturing the iPhone in India. It plans to discuss the state of exemptions and incentives with regard to the same.
As reported by Economic Times, at the said meeting, Apple executives are planning to sit down with officials from the departments of IT, finance, industrial policy & promotion, environment & forests and revenue. The tech behemoth is said to keep the discussions focused on the incentives it has sought ever since it expressed a wish to aggressively dedicate resources to the country — post CEO Tim Cook’s visit to India last year. It could be a result of the government considering the company’s recent request for special treatment.
While Apple wants to bring its manufacturing facility to the country and produce iPhones in India on the back of incentive demands but the government is reluctant on agreeing to them. Currently, authorities are offering exemptions to hardware manufacturers who are producing their devices in India by sourcing materials from the country itself. Whereas reports of Apple not willing to source internal components has already surfaced on the interwebs.
Previously, the Cupertino giant started off by putting in a request to gain exemption from the 30 percent local sourcing but it was denied on the grounds of the company lacking cutting-edge technology. It is, however, still being processed and might be approved for Apple to bring its stores to India. But, it won’t be able to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country as the government isn’t very supportive of the dumping of used devices into the country’s smartphone ecosystem.
In addition, there have recently also been reports that Apple has partnered with Wistron to start assembling iPhones on the Indian soil but there is still no word on when the same will become operational. Wistron has recently expedited its efforts to also expand its manufacturing plant in Bengaluru. It has also held talks with its primary phone maker Foxconn to explore options in the country but its focus might be on United States — which has seen a major upheaval in its leadership. It is also looking to protect the design aesthetics of its products by asking the government to grant it exemptions from labelling laws as well.