Apple’s Make In India plans are kicking off in Bengaluru by April 2017 going by a new report. Taiwanese OEM Wistron is apparently setting up shop in the city’s industrial hub Peenya to manufacture iPhones.
Sources told The Times of India that Apple is very serious about starting assembly operations before leaping to full manufacturing by the end of next year. Insiders within the brand allege that Bengaluru is being considered as a prime candidate for its production plans.
The report also points out that putting together iPhones in India will allow Apple to avoid the heavy 12.5% additional duty it has to pay for imports. This in turn could make the handsets cheaper in the country since the company would be able to price them competitively.
To recall, Foxconn’s Maharashtra facility was initially believed to be the center of Apple’s manufacturing push. However, sources now point out that the former also has ties to other firms like OnePlus and Xiaomi, so the plant may not necessarily have come up to solely produce iPhones.
Apple has reportedly begun putting up job openings on its portal for a small number of positions at its Bengaluru factory such as operations program manager and product quality manager. If the rumors turn out to be accurate, the metro will have the honor of hosting two major Apple hubs.
Apple had previously announced plans to set up an iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru by early 2017. The main push behind the endeavor was to encourage the growth of the local iOS developer community and guide them through the Swift programming language.
India is shaping up to be a vital market for Apple. Counterpoint data suggests that the firm sold over 2.5 million iPhones in the nation from October 2015 to September 2016, a 50% rise. Producing its smartphones in the country may well translate to higher sales numbers.