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.
If it happens, the factory openings could be a win-win-win for Foxconn, India, and Apple. Foxconn gets a new potentially-lucrative base for manufacturing, with the likelihood of tax breaks from a government eager to do business with them. India, meanwhile, gets a major employment opportunity for people, while Apple benefits from a new foothold in the country.
“India has the world’s largest number of cellphones but only 7% of these mobile handsets are manufactured in the country. The rest are imported,” India’s chief minister Devendra Fadnavis says.
Recently Fadnavis was part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation during a recent tour of China, during which he checked out a Foxconn factory which manufactures various iPhone models, including the iPhone 6.
“Our country is rapidly urbanizing, so our PM has unveiled his vision of making smart cities. India’s most urbanised state, Maharashtra has much to contribute to it and thus would welcome Chinese expertise and investment in this sector,” Fadnavis says.
Although the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative is based on attracting any large overseas manufacturing client, there’s no doubt that Apple is being viewed as the ultimate “get” for the country.
Recently India’s Communications and I.T. Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met with Apple’s regulatory head for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa to urge him to push for an Apple R&D facility in the country — much like Apple already has in the United Kingdom, China and Israel.
Previous rumors have suggested that the first two Foxconn plants in India would be dedicated factory spaces, while the third may be geared toward R&D. Foxconn is said to have hired Josh Foulger, a senior Nokia executive with experience establishing a Nokia plant in India’s Chennai region, to help oversee the development of the new facilities.
It is unknown exactly much of this work would be specifically or exclusively for Apple.
After China, India is an incredibly desirable possible future market for Apple thanks to its massive population and potential for economic growth. The company has seen its Indian revenue increase by 10x in just four years, and over the past few years it has sped up how quickly its new devices land in India. The iPhone 6, for instance, arrived just 28 days after its U.S. debut — compared to 337 days for the iPhone 4.
Via: Patently Apple