On December 31, Apple announced that manufacturing partner Foxconn will start manufacturing premium iPhones locally in India. Now, another Apple manufacturing partner has joined the game. The IT ministry has approved Wistron’s Rs 5,000 crore plan to manufacture premium Apple devices locally. Currently, the Taiwan-based company makes cheaper iPhones in the country.
In an interview, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We have just approved Wistron’s Rs 5,091-crore application and it is with the Cabinet now… Wistron will make the latest iPhone models.”
The additional incentives given by China to maintain its position as the leading electronics manufacturer doesn’t concern the government. Instead, the minister pointed out that India has more to gain through this development.
He said, “Openness of India’s democratic polity, where creativity is recognised and respected, adds its own incentive… We gave little incentive and you saw how many people came.”
What this means for India
Prasad notes that there are three advantages in more manufacturers entering the Indian market. A flourishing workforce with plenty of skilled workers is an obvious one. Second is the increase in English fluency. The third advantage is that India will become the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.
He added that the government aims to create an ecosystem that gives rise to world-beating companies. And that is the reason behind the announcement of software products policy. He said that software products marketers will have the government’s full support. The government will do everything needed to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and make India a strong hub for IPR.
Prasad also said, “India is known for its software services—we want it to become a big hub for products… The policy aims to create Indian Googles and Facebooks.” To aid its advancement, the government has set up a Rs 5,000 crore fund and will source software products from these Indian companies.
He adds that with this development, the prices “will be cheaper and more tuned to India’s needs.” After all, “55% of global R&D is done in India.”
The Future of Apple India
With local Apple manufacturing in place, a lot of the taxes will be waived. This means a slash in the prices of the once exorbitant iPhones. So, Apple lovers can start expecting high-end models at lower prices. However, it isn’t going to be an earth-shattering difference, so don’t get your hopes too high. The higher your expectations, the bigger the disappointment. Still, this is better than nothing and we’ll take all the discount we can get!