Apple to assemble iPhone 6, 6S in India; will they be cheaper?

Technology giant Apple Inc. will soon start assembling iPhones in India, boosting the company's chances of gaining a foothold in the fast-growing market, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple had sought the concessions from the government to incentivise the high-end component manufacturers of iPhones to move to India as without their presence, it will be hard for the iPhone maker to start full-fledged manufacturing operations locally.

In another showdown of sorts, it is now the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) that has gone with the revenue department and said that Apple's demands just can not be met. MeitY said that Apple's demands for an import duty exemption for certain components for making iPhones in India will just not work out.

Speaking out on Thursday, Indian government officials confirmed that Apple will begin manufacturing select iPhone models within their new Bangalore production facility over the next few months.

Earlier this week, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha (Council of States) that the ministry has said "no" to "most" of them. However, it looks like the Indian government should not be taken lightly as they have refused most of those demands. MeitY had earlier wanted this relaxation to be extended to five more sub-assemblies of mobile phone handsets in the Budget for 2017-18, which was, however, not accepted by the department of revenue, according to sources.

Smartphone shipments in India grew 18 percent a year ago, compared with 3 percent globally, the WSJ said, citing data from Counterpoint Research.

Apple's devices are priced relatively higher in India when compared to other markets and the company realises that.

In a communication to the government, the company has asked for incentives from the Department of Revenue and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITy).

"We want Apple to manufacture in India".

  • Arturo Norris