Apple supplier Foxconn has come under fire over the last few years for its factories’ working conditions in China, but the company is now making plans to open up a new Apple plant in one of the world’s other booming nations: India.
The India government has previously blocked Apple from opening any brick-and-mortar retail outlets in the country because Apple don’t manufacture any products in India.
That could be about to change, however, thanks to a recent rumor claiming that Foxconn has been given permission to open new iPhone-manufacturing plants in Maharashtra, the heavily-populated state in the country’s western region which claims Mumbai as its capital.
The factories would benefit from government funding aimed at bringing more manufacturing companies to India.
Up until now, the majority of iPhones have been built in China, but long-time Apple manufacturer Foxconn could be setting its sights on a new developing market: India.
According to the Economic Times, the Foxconn Technology Group is set to pour money into three new facilities in India — based in the country’s Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh provinces — with a view to building iPhones for its biggest client.
After China, India is the next big developing market Apple wants to conquer — and apparently the Indian government couldn’t be happier about it.
Meeting with Apple’s regulatory head for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa on Friday, India’s Communications and I.T. Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the company to consider opening a Research & Development facility in the country — legitimizing India’s booming tech industry in the same way that Apple’s R&D facility in Israel does for that country’s.
“Apple is an effective brand in India and personally I requested them to consider opening a good R&D centre in India,” Prasad said, following the meeting.
After China, India is the next big frontier for Apple: with a massive 1.2 billion citizens, and an impressively growing smartphone market that is far from saturated.
So far Apple has had great success in the country, as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold roughly twice the volume of previous generation iPhones, and Apple has even proved willing to take a short-term hit on the earnings front to get more iPhones into people’s hands in the long run.
But one company isn’t happy about the iPhone’s success in India — and it’s doubling its efforts to get Apple barred from using the popular smartphone name in the country altogether.