Representatives from the tech giant, Apple, approached the State Govt. of Karnataka and the Central Govt. of India officials last week in a bid to secure concessions before embarking on its plans to start assembling iPhones at the Wistron manufacturing facility in Bengaluru.
As revealed by a source with information on the matter, the sole focus of the Wistron Corp. plant being outfitted in Bengaluru will be the assembly of iPhones. Wistron, it must be mentioned, is Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner.
The source, who asked not to be named because he was not cleared to discuss matters publicly, said Apple and the Indian government were, however, still discussing “the repatriation of long-term profits from local sales and exports,” reported Reuters.
In a statement, the government of Karnataka said it welcomed Apple’s proposal of manufacturing 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 is critical for India to compete globally,”
The discussions with the Indian state and federal officials according to Apple were “open and constructive,” as reported by Reuters. However, the decision to start assembly in India, apparently, depends on India agreeing to the concession grants Apple is seeking.
In a statement last month, Information and Technology Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that India would look into Apple’s request for concessions with an “open mind.”
On Thursday (February 2, 2017), the government of Karnataka said it was “committed to new initiatives in any sector for manufacturing and will provide a conducive environment for investment.”
According to a statement to Reuters on Friday, Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge said that Apple would “tentatively begin manufacturing iPhones in the state by the end of April, or beginning of May.”
Established on May 30, 2001, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron is an ODM (original design manufacturer) that produces Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related products on behalf of other companies that market these products under their individual brand names.
Their products include server and storage systems, desktop PCs, notebooks, LCD TVs, handheld devices, information appliances, networking and communications products custom-made according to client requirements including design, manufacture and after-sales service.
The company is headquartered in Taiwan with a presence in Asia, North America, and Europe with an overall workforce of over 60,000 employees. Wistron offices and operations are appropriately and strategically located in the three continents to meet product requirements and customer satisfaction optimally.
If, or rather, when the Apple deal goes through, the Wistron operations in India would be solely dedicated to manufacturing and meeting Apple’s iPhone specifications and requirements.
Joyce Chou, a Wistron spokesperson, said that its Bengaluru plant was set to begin producing smartphones sometime in the first half of 2017. However, she desisted from commenting on whether it would be an iPhone dedicated manufacturing facility.