Apple may soon set up shop in Bengaluru as Wistron, a Taiwanese manufacturer for Apple, is setting up a facility in Peenya for manufacturing iPhones, the Times of India reported.
The facility is believed to start production in April and will initially have an assembly line and thereafter a full manufacturing unit by the end of 2017, the report added.
The local manufacturing unit will allow Apple to price the phones aptly in the competitive market as it would eliminate the 12.5% import duty, the report says.
Foxconn, Appleâ€™s largest original equipment manufacturer in Taiwan, had earlier announced setting up of a plant in Maharashtra. It was assumed that the plant would manufacture Apple phones, however, Foxconn has tied up with Xiaomi and OnePlus to set up local manufacturing there, the report adds.
Earlier in May, Apple had announced a design and development accelerator in the city for iOS developers to leverage their skills and build apps for Apple TV and Apple Watch. The facility is all set to open in early 2017, the report states.
The move may be seen as a result of the growing demand for Apple products among the Indian middle class and as Apple sold 2.5 million iPhones in India between October 2015 and September 2016, the report adds.
Cook pointed to Appleâ€™s partnership with Reliance Jio Infocomm as an indicator that 4G proliferation holds huge promise for the company as global smartphone sales slow. IDC expects growth in global handset shipments to shrink to 1.6% this year from 10% in 2015.
â€śWeâ€™re partnering with them to ensure great iPhone performance on their network,â€ť he said. The CEO of a leading Indian retail chain said sales of the iPhone 7, launched on October 7, have been very good so far.
An Economic Times report in October had quoted Tim Cook saying that Indiaâ€™s population and the expected demand for 4G devices are reasons for his optimism in the Indian market.
Following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, where cases of the phone exploding was reported, Apple is expected to become the countryâ€™s top smartphone maker in the segment of phones costing above Rs 30,000, the report adds.
Appleâ€™s share in the overall smartphone market may rebound to 3% by the year end from 1.4% in the September quarter, the ET report said.