Apple has long had an interest in India and it seems the company’s plans for the country are finally coming together.
According to a Thursday report from Bloomberg, Apple will begin building its iconic iPhones in India within the next few months. Citing Karnataka’s state information technology minister Priyank Kharge, Bloomberg reported production in that country will kick off in Bangalore by the end of April. Taiwan-based Wistron Corp. will be responsible for assembling the devices, the report said.
The shift marks a new milestone in Apple’s efforts to secure a foothold in India, which is on track to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world. The move follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 2016 decision to ease local source and foreign investment requirements and Apple’s May announcements of plans to open an app development center in Bangalore and a Maps development office in Hyderabad.
On an earnings call earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company posted all-time record revenue results in the country during the fourth quarter despite a demonetization move in India that created “lots of economic pressure.”
“I feel really good about how we're doing there,” Cook said. “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country and believe it's a great place to be.”
Apple’s decision to open an iPhone manufacturing center comes just a few months after smartphone competitor Huawei announced the same in September.
The Chinese vendor said it was opening a manufacturing plant in Chennai in partnership with Flex India to manufacture one of its Honor smartphone models. The plant was scheduled to take up Huawei production in October.