Apple could start manufacturing iPads in India this year if the country boosts incentives for exporters, Reuters said Thursday.
Cupertino is reportedly lobbying for the incentives, which Reuters described like this:
“The new performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which offers cash-back to manufacturers for exports, will have a budget of up to 70 billion rupees ($964.5 million) over five years, the sources said. It’s expected to be launched by the end of February.
Apple, along with others, is lobbying for a bigger budgetary outlay of 200 billion rupees before that plan is finalized, as India doesn’t yet have the scale or the supply chain for making IT products and competes with duty-free imports of tech products, two of the sources said.”
The report also suggests that New Delhi is working on another incentives scheme that could cover smartwatches. While there’s no mention of Apple Watch, the device potentially could be covered in the plan, which could be announced in the next two months.
Apple currently makes the majority of its iPads in China. But it has been increasingly expanding its production of other devices into places like India and Vietnam. (Some iPhones have been made in India since 2017.)
This is partly to reduce Apple’s reliance on China, which has only deepened under Apple CEO Tim Cook’s leadership. Foxconn is currently building assembly lines for iPads and MacBooks in Vietnam.
It remains unclear which of Apple’s three contract manufacturers with factories in India — Foxconn, Wistron or Pegatron — would build the iPad in India if this goes ahead. However, the report suggests that “Made in India” iPads could commence production this year.