Apple may have caught the Make In India bug if a new report by ET Now is to be believed. Electronics manufacturer Foxconn is supposedly close to inking a deal which will allow it to stake claim to a 1200-acre plot in the country to produce iPhones locally.
If the deal goes through, Foxconn is all set to invest a whopping $10 billion into its new factory. It’ll apparently take 18 months to become fully operational once the dotted line is signed, so don’t expect Made In India iPhones popping up this year itself.
As for where exactly the iPhones will be assembled, Foxconn and the central government have supposedly locked in on Maharashtra after considering several other states. The firm has already shortlisted Talegaon-Chakan and Khalapur as possible locations for the plant.
The new factory is in line with a previous Reuters report which had alleged that Foxconn was planning to manufacture iPads and iPods in India. That’s in addition to Maharashtra Industry Minister Subhash Desai himself revealing the company’s intentions for the state nearly a year ago.
Apple’s move into India isn’t entirely unprecedented. The brand had previously announced its intentions to open up a technology development center in Hyderabad to focus on map research and other areas of interest. Still, this is the first time somewhat concrete news of it actually manufacturing iPhones has emerged into the light.
Apple iPhones have historically been very expensive in India due to various factors such as import duties. There’s no way to predict whether locally produced handsets will be sold at cheaper rates. The brand certainly seems to be thinking in this vein given its recent attempt at selling inexpensive refurbished iPhones in the nation.
However, Apple’s application was reportedly rejected by the administration on the grounds that it would lead to a buildup of hazardous electronic waste.