After weeks of speculation, it is now official: Apple could soon begin manufacturing in India and might even be assembling iPhones here soon. It was made official with the Karnataka government on Thursday welcoming a proposal from Apple to begin initial manufacturing operations in the state.
"Apple's intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster cutting edge technology eco system and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally," the Karnataka government said in a statement.
However, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, that no deal, or memorandum of understanding had so far been finalised with the Karnataka government.
Where will it be made?
The person, who asked not to be named, said if Apple did go ahead with plans to begin assembling the iPhone, it was likely to do so initially at a plant being set up by its Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron Corp at Peenya on the outskirts of the tech hub of Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The Times of India reported that iPhones will be assembled at the facility and had even sought to fill several openings in the company, including that of a iPhone operations program manager.
Will iPhones get any cheaper?
Apple was not immediately reachable for comment but has been keen to assemble its phones in India, one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets.
It isn't clear yet if the iPhones will be cheaper as a result of it assembling the phones in India and by how much.
Presently, the phone is imported fully assembled and it isn't clear how much the cost of import will reduce if the components are imported and the phone is then assembled in Bengaluru. It is also not clear which version of the phone will be manufactured in India.
What Apple wants
Apple representatives met with central and state government officials in India last week, as it is lobbying hard for a raft of tax and sourcing concessions from India, before it begins to assemble iPhones in the country.
Any final decision around manufacturing in India however, is likely to still be dependent on the government's willingness to concede ground on the concessions sought by the company.
On its part, the government of Karnataka said on Thursday it was "committed to new initiatives in any sector for manufacturing and will provide a conducive environment for investment."