Indian officials are reportedly keeping an “open mind” with regards to Apple’s demands in return for considering producing iPhones in the country.
“We will very much like Apple to come and have a base in India,” Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters earlier today.
Among Apple’s demands mainly relate to tax concessions in order for it to be worth Apple’s while to embrace manufacturing in the country.
Apple has also reportedly asked for exemption from other policies, such as rules stating that manufacturers must print detailed product information onto their devices — thereby potentially cluttering Apple’s minimalist design.
Judging by today’s report, it seems that the Indian government may give in to Apple’s demands — but rather than making these concessions only to Apple it may be willing to make them for any electronics company able to invest $1 billion. (Although subsidies could be capped at $1.5 billion under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme designed to boost electronics manufacturing.)
No stranger to negotiations
Despite Apple’s enthusiasm about the Indian market, it’s no stranger to drawn-out negotiations in the country. In particular, Apple has long been battling for the necessary permissions to open official Apple stores in India.
At present, the company sells it products exclusively through premium resellers operating on a franchise model. Last year, reports claimed that Apple hopes to open a major Indian flagship store, with a design reminiscent of the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York.
It has also butted heads with the Indian government over security issues and the ability to grow its market share in the country by importing used iPhones: a scheme that was shot down by rival manufacturers.
Will 2017 be the year we finally get iPhones that are designed in California, made in India? Watch this space to find out!