Apple to meet Indian officials to discuss iPhone manufacturing plans

Apple’s plans to manufacture locally in India is moving smoothly with executives from both sides planning to meet later this month. 

At a high-profile meeting on Jan. 25, Apple executives will discuss the company’s plans for setting up a manufacturing unit in India, PTI reports. The Indian government will send officials from department of commerce, industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), revenue, environment and forest, electronics and IT.

Apple will reportedly also request for several tax and other incentives, which could include long-term duty exemptions. It’s unclear at this time what duty exemptions the company is looking for. 

The company showed intentions of manufacturing its products in India last year. In a letter sent to the Indian government November last year, Apple outlined its plans to manufacture its products locally. According to a another report, Apple has partnered with Taiwan’s Wistron for assembling iPhones in India. 

The Indian government offers various benefits to overseas companies to setup manufacturing plants in India as such efforts create jobs and help in development of cities and states. However, PTI adds that the government isn’t keen on giving Apple any extra sops that the iPhone maker is reportedly seeking, which it does not give to other companies. 

Expanding its business in India is critical for Apple, which last year saw the overall sales volume of iPhone drop for the first time since it was introduced in 2007. India is among the handful of markets to have shown growing interest in iPhones. 

And Apple is very well aware of it. Tim Cook visited the nation for the first time as CEO of the company last year. During his visit, he met several government officials including India’s PM Narendra Modi, expressing desires to expand the company’s business in the country. 

But to truly target India’s much untapped market, Apple needs to make iPhones more affordable for the local market. Apple wanted to sell refurbished smartphones in India, but the government rejected that proposal.