Apple executives to meet govt officials on 25 January to push India plans

With India emerging as the fastest growing smartphone markets, Apple is in a continuous dialogue with government authorities to set up manufacturing facility and exclusive stores in the country. The company is now expected to meet officials of various ministries on 25 January to discuss its long-standing plans of manufacturing the iPhone in India.

It also had plans to discuss the state of exemptions and incentives that would come with it.

According to The Economic Times, at the meeting, Apple executives planned to sit down with officials from the departments of IT, finance, industrial policy & promotion, environment & forests and revenue. The tech giant was expected to keep the discussions focused on the incentives it had sought.

According to commentator, while Apple wanted incentives for bringing its iPhone manufacturing facility to the country, the government is reluctant on agreeing to such incentives. Authorities were currently offering exemptions to hardware manufacturers who are producing their devices in India by sourcing materials from the country itself.

The Cupertino giant had earlier sought exemption from the 30 per cent local sourcing condition, but it was denied. It was, however, still being processed and the country might be given the green signal to bring its stores to India, according to commentators.

India already offered subsidies to electronics manufacturers, and even operated "special economic zones" with looser laws designed to attract multinationals. According to BGR, as many as 42 companies were producing phones in India, such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which might not give Apple much leverage in demanding extra.

An Apple manufacturing partner, Wistron, is said to be building an iPhone-oriented factory in Bangalore which could start supplying units by the end of this year. Foxconn was also said to be working on a factory, though it might take longer to come to fruition.

Apple continued to be a marginal player in the Indian smartphone market and while it was thought to control a majority of the "premium" segment, it held only a tiny fraction of the market, which in the second quarter of 2016, amounted to less than 1 per cent of sales.