Apple is getting closer to making a deal that would allow the company to start assembling its phones in India, according to a Wall Street Journal report, citing a government official.
Taiwanese company Wistron Corp, Apple’s contract manufacturer, has already setup a unit in Bengaluru in Karnataka. It will most likely be making iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models at this plant in a four-to-six week time-frame according to an official from Karnataka. The iPhone SE will also be added to the assembly line in about a three month time-frame.
“Almost all preparations have been done for launching Apple’s first phase project in Bangalore through Wistron,” the official told the Wall Street Journal.
“We’ve been working hard to develop our operations in India,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations.” A Wistron spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on “rumor or speculation.”
WSJ‘s report comes a day after the government said it has not accepted “most of the demands” of the iPhone maker, which wants to set up manufacturing unit in India. Apple has sought concessions including duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service or repair for a period of 15 years.
“Apple wants higher exemptions since there are not many high-end phone-component makers in India to buy from,” said the government official. “The company will have to manufacture the components in India, and it has to meet international standards.”