Min menu


Apple negotiates iPad construction in India


Apple is seeking to participate in a new plan to boost India's exports of computer products, part of what government and industry sources say is plans to bring the manufacture of iPad tablets to the South Asian country.

India launched a $6.7 billion plan to boost smartphone exports last year, as the prime minister stepped up efforts to boost electronics manufacturing and create jobs.

Apple, which has steadily increased iPhone production in India to reduce its dependence on Chinese manufacturing, participated in the scheme through contractual manufacturers.

Three sources closely involved in the drafting of the plan told Reuters that the government is now preparing to uncover another incentive to drive local manufacturing of IT products, including tablets, laptops, and servers.

The new performance-related incentive scheme, which provides cashback for export manufacturers, has a budget of 70 billion rupees ($964.5 million) over five years and is expected to be launched by the end of February, the sources said.

Apple, along with others, is pressing for a larger budget spending of Rs. 200 billion before the plan is completed, as India does not yet have the scope or supply chain to make IT products.

Apple's push comes at a time when iPhone supplier Wistron is regaining operations at a factory in southern India after labor demonstrations erupted last year.

New Delhi is also planning another action plan, with a budget of about Rs. 50 billion over five years, to boost local manufacturing of wearables, such as smartwatches, the sources said, adding that the plan could be announced within two months.

Apple is assembling the bulk of china's iPads, but it quickly diversifies production to markets such as India and Vietnam to minimize the impact of the U.S.-China trade war and the Coronavirus crisis.

Reuters reported late last year that Foxconn, Apple's largest supplier, was building assembly lines for iPads and MacBooks laptops in Vietnam.

Apple is likely to assemble iPads in India by one of its existing suppliers in the country earlier this year, although its plans may be delayed because India is making IT difficult to enter BYD amid its caution against giving new technology business to Chinese companies.

"The government is asking Apple to assemble iPads by its contract manufacturers here, and non-Chinese companies," a government official said.