iPhone manufacturer Foxconn planning to expand its operations in India next year

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A May report from The Economic Times alleged that Apple had approached Foxconn about assembling iPhones in India in the next two to three years. The Economic Times of India confirmed Monday that Foxconn will be expanding its operations in India next year, backing its $600 million investments already made in the country.

“Since last year, we have restarted operations and right now we’re in finalizing 2017 plan, there will be more expansion,” said Foxconn’s head of India operations Josh Foulger.

He has confirmed that Foxconn facilities in India will be assembling new handsets for Nokia, which is preparing for its comeback. Asked if local Foxconn plants would also assemble iPhones, Foulger responded cryptically by saying that “companies like Apple will have to take a diligent view on the market India.”

The Indian government’s “Made in India” initiative promises concessions to foreign companies who would build products locally in the 1.25 billion people country.

The phased manufacturing program would incentivize companies to open manufacturing facilities in India, starting with component categories where labour intensity is higher before moving on to capital intensive categories, like semiconductor plants.

Foulger said India could become an export hub to Middle East and Africa:

India, from a manufacturing standpoint, has logistic advantage, not just for India but for Middle East and Africa. The ASP of products is very similar. If you look at making India a manufacturing destination for 800 million phones, it looks very attractive. India cost is competitive. It takes time but if managed well, it can bring results.

Apple currently has a 1.3 percent share of the Indian market for smartphones. The Cupertino firm is expected to ship over one million iPhones in India during the December quarter, including the new iPhone 7 models.

Smartphone shipments in India totaled a Counterpoint-estimated 35 million units during the third quarter of 2016, a 21 percent sequential increase and a 25 percent year-over-year increase.

Foxconn Technology Group is the world’s largest contract manufacturer that assembles gadgets for technology companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony and others.

Source: The Economic Times