It’s been rumored for some time now, but according to a new report Apple’s main manufacturer Foxconn is on the verge of bringing iPhone production to India, thanks to a new manufacturing plant likely to be based in Maharashtra.
Foxconn is reportedly planning to buy a 1,200-acre stretch of land in Maharashtra, a wealthy and well-developed state in the western region of the country, which is India’s third-largest by area. Foxconn considered a few other parts of India before settling on Maharashtra for its proposed $10 billion factory.
As of now, no deal has been signed with the Indian government, although it is said to be close. Once signed, it should take approximately 18 months to get the iPhone-building factory up and running.
Between 10-12 Foxconn facilities are planned for development in India by 2020, including data centers and factories. Foxconn previously had a plant in India that was closed in 2014 after Nokia left the country.
The news comes at a time when Apple is increasingly focused on the potential of India, particularly as it runs into problems with China. Recently official Indian Apple Stores got one step closer to happening after Apple became one of the first foreign companies granted a permit to open a retail store in India without sourcing 30 percent of its products from inside the country.
Apple has also announced plans to invest $25 million in a new office complex in India — which will bring approximately 4,500 jobs during the construction process. Not everything has been quite so seamless, however. Last month, a group representing local manufacturing interests including non-Indian company Samsung) successfully petitioned to stop Apple from importing refurbished iPhones to sell in the country.
Foxconn isn’t the only Apple supplier keen to expand its operations to India. Rival manufacturer Pegatron, which also receives orders from Apple, is reportedly planning to build its own factories in India, taking advantage of the cheap labor opportunities compared to China.
Source: Economic Times