Apple will begin assembling i phones by the end of April, Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge says, heightening its focus on the world's fastest-growing major smartphone market as growth slows elsewhere.
The US company has tapped Taiwan's Wistron Corp. to put together its phones in the tin Bengaluru, said Priyank Kharge, the state's information technology minister. Apple executives met him last month and confirmed the timeline,
Indian smart phone market is dominated by Samsung. The decision by Apple signals a renewed focus on the country, where it just scrapes into the top 10, as growth begins to slow in China and other more mature markets. The company has put forward a long list of demand including a 15-year tax holiday to import components and equipment - in negotiations with the central government.
The company shipped 25 lakh into the country in 2016. While that is its best year ever in terms of revenues and sales, it only ranked 10th among vendors in the December quarter according Counterpoint Research. Apple accounts for less than 2 percent of shipments in India, where an estimated 750 million smartphones will be sold by 2020.
The devices will be assembled through a plant on Bangalore's outskirts operated by Wistron, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer.