Apple supplier Wistron to build iPhones in India

It’s official: Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron will be assembling iPhones in a facility set up at Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru, The Times of India reported Friday. No timeline has been provided, but production is expected to begin in June. The Karnataka government issued a release yesterday in which regional IT minister Priyank Kharge welcomed Apple’s proposal “to commence initial manufacturing operations” in the state.

“We made concerted efforts to reach out to Apple directly. We want to create a conducive environment for global majors like Apple so that we emerge as their preferred partner in their India growth story,” he said.

Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster “cutting-edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” the release reads.

Vice President of iPhone operations in India Priya Balasubramaniam along with other Apple executives had positive discussions with Karnataka government officials like Senior Manager Government Affairs for Middle East and India, Ali Khanafer, and country counsel Priyesh Povanna.

Among other things, they talked about manufacturing initiatives and future collaborations, with Apple calling the meeting “constructive.”

Kharge confirmed that “initial manufacturing operations” are set to begin in Karnataka’s capital of Bengaluru in yesterday’s tweet. “Glad to announce initial manufacturing operations of the world’s most valued company: Apple, in Karnataka. Another validation for Karnataka,” he wrote on Twitter.

However, the official deleted the first tweet soon after.

In a statement issued to both BuzzFeed News and Reuters after last week’s meeting, Apple avoided formally confirming the deal and instead offered its usual non-confirmation boilerplate statement:

We’ve been working hard to develop our operations in India and are proud to deliver the best products and services in the world to our customers here. We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations

If the plan goes through, India will be only the third country globally to assemble iPhones.

According to Reuters, Apple and the Indian government are still discussing “the repatriation of long-term profits from local sales and exports.” Be that as it may, first “Made in India” iPhones should probably be expected this September.

Given that local reports claim production is expected to begin in June, it’s a safe bet to assume that Wistron will be assembling iPhone 8 for sale in the Indian market.

Source: The Times of India