Apple logo
The Apple logo is seen on the facade of the new Apple Store in Paris, France, January 5, 2017. Reuters/Charles Platiau

Apple is closing in on one of the biggest mobile phone markets in the world. The tech giant will be assembling units of its beloved handset in India in hopes to topple the nation’s leading smartphone brand, Samsung. Building the iPhone in India will only bring great things for Apple as market growth has gone down in other regions.

Apple is set to begin making iPhones in the nation’s tech centre of Bangalore by the end of April. This was confirmed by the Karnataka information technology minister, Priyank Kharge. The minister discussed the details about the deal with Apple officials back in January.

The Cupertino, California-based company strategically chose India as it is one of the fastest-growing phone markets in the world while other markets have significantly slowed down. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even gone on the record saying that the South Asian nation is “the place to be.” Cherry-picked by Apple to put together the iPhones in Bangalore is Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron Corporation.

Cook made his first trip to India back in May of last year to seek the government’s approval for Apple stores to be opened in the country. The government requires that companies must source 30 percent of components within the country. With the deal, India becomes only the third country to put together iPhones.

The Indian market is currently dominated by rival Samsung, thanks to the South Korean electronics mammoth’s budget-friendly deals. Apple is only the tenth most-selling brand in the country, but things are definitely about to change with new deal. Markets like China have gradually slowed down and Apple has finally sealed the deal in India after months of speculation.

Apple reportedly made a rather handful of demands while it was trying to negotiate with the Indian federal government. According to Bloomberg, the company pressed for a 15-year tax holiday for the import of components and equipment. The truth remains that the deal is beneficial to both Apple and India, especially since it is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” programme, which seeks large companies to manufacture products in the country to create more jobs and revenue.

Indian smartphone users predominantly choose more affordable brands but Apple is confident that increased wages will allow the iPhone to get into the mix. “In the longer term, it’s a great move,” said Cook. “We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country.”


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