The Karnataka government has approved Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India’s application for 60 acres of land, which could speed up assembling of iPhones in India.
The proposed plant will come up at Devanahalli and Wistron plans to invest $105 million in this project. In addition to iPhones, Wistron plans to manufacture Internet of Things (IoT) devices, according to government sources.
Wistron is Taiwan’s leading Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) and a Fortune 500 company. Apart from iPhones, Wistron has also a joint venture with Optiemus, which has a licensing agreement to manufacture BlackBerry branded devices in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In Karnataka, Wistron already assembles iPhone SE and the other Apple devices are imported.
In its proposal to acquire the land, Wistron had said that this plant can create 6,000 jobs. It is also learnt to have asked the Karnataka government for 116 acres of land.
The development comes at a time when the demand for smartphones continues to grow in India, wherein Apple wants to increase its marketshare. Currently, according to estimates, Apple has a 3 per cent marketshare in India.
In light of this, the increased manufacturing initiative will help the US tech giant to not have to pay steep duties on imported devices.
Apple representatives have met with various central government officials and have been talking of getting concessions before committing to manufacturing in the country.
The tech giant is learnt to have sought exemptions or relaxations from many taxes and duties on imports.
Apple wants some of the existing rules relaxed. This includes a rule which requires foreign manufacturers to source 30 per cent of inputs from local markets.
According to IDC, in 2017, around 124 million smartphones were shipped in India.