Apple has long been rumored to be setting up a manufacturing presence in India, with a report most recently outlining some of the concessions Apple was seeking from the Indian government. Now, a new report from the Times of India claims that Apple will start manufacturing the iPhone in India in April of 2017, while the company has also posted a handful of job listings in the country.
The report, citing industry sources, claims that Taiwanese OEM maker and Apple partner Wistron is setting up a facility in Bengaluru. Specifically, the facility is said to be located in Peenya, which is widely known as the industrial hub of the city.
Furthermore, the report claims that Apple is “very serious” about assembly and manufacturing in India. Setting up manufacturing in the country means that the company will be able to sell its phones at a more competitive price. When importing units, Apple is forced to pay a 12.5 percent additional tariff, but that won’t be the case for locally made goods.
While Foxconn is also setting up a facility in India, it won’t be used exclusively for Apple manufacturing, according to today’s report. Foxconn has reportedly arranged to manufacture for company’s like Xiaomi and OnePlus, as well.
In addition to today’s report, a handful of job openings on Apple’s job site have also been uncovered that further corroborate Apple’s manufacturing plans for India. One listing is for an “iPhone Operations Manager” in India. The job description says that this person “will lead Apple’s new products ramp in India” and be responsible for leading the “original equipment manufacturer (OEM) team” and working closely with suppliers, engineers, and operation teams to ensure part availability and readiness.
The Operations Program Manager (OPM) will lead Apple’s new products ramp in India with superior product quality and maximum customer availability. This individual will also own operational success of the products throughout their product life cycle.
Other positions listed in India include Vendor Manager, Regional Field Sales Manager, Site Reliability Engineer, Partnership Manager, Demand Generation Program Manager, Software Engineering Lead, and several others.
In setting up a manufacturing facility in India, Apple will theoretically be allowed to finally establish retails stores in the country, as well. Indian law requires that any company with retail stores manufacture a certain portion of their products in the country, and while it was originally believed that Apple could circumvent that requirement, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
Tim Cook and Apple have touted India as the company’s next big market of growth for several years, and with iPhone manufacturing and retail stores, that growth will likely pick up as we head into late 2017 and on.