Apple is ready to make iPhones in India, for a price

“Apple Inc. is willing to start making iPhones in India, but it wants a big helping hand from Narendra Modi’s government first,” Saritha Rai reports for Bloomberg.

“The Cupertino, California-based company is scheduled to meet with officials in New Delhi next week to discuss the prospects for setting up manufacturing facilities in the country this year,” Rai reports. “Apple, the most valuable company on Earth, is asking for a long list of financial concessions from India, one of the poorest countries. Among the requests, the company is seeking a 15-year tax holiday on imports of components and equipment, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.”

“Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visited the country for the first time in May as he sought government approval for Apple to open its own stores,” Rai reports. “India has insisted that Apple, like any single-brand retailer, source 30 percent of its components locally, though the country is relaxing those rules so technology companies can operate stores for three years before meeting that requirement.”

“Still, Apple wants more,” Rai reports. “The company has sent a list of requests ahead of its Jan. 25 meeting with officials from several government departments, including Electronics and Commerce, the person said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Apple is also asking for a waiver on customs duties for new and used equipment brought into India. The Indian Express newspaper reported Apple wants full exemption from duties on raw materials, components and capital equipment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The benefits of having Apple manufacturing and retail outlets outweigh any and all of the requested incentives.

India to consider Apple request for tax breaks and policy exemptions with ‘open mind’ – January 18, 2017
Apple is horse-trading mightily with India – January 4, 2017
India poised to reject manufacturing concessions for Apple – January 3, 2017
Apple doesn’t want India’s government to muddle iPhone’s look – December 29, 2016
Apple is discussing manufacturing in India, government officials say – December 20, 2016
Apple iPhone grabs first place in India with 66% of premium smartphone sales – November 29, 2016
Apple seeks government incentives to set up manufacturing unit in India – November 7, 2016
Apple still mulling over its plans for India retail stores – August 12, 2016
Reports of Apple’s death in India are greatly exaggerated – August 5, 2016
Apple leases more than 40,000 square feet of office space in Bengaluru, India – July 25, 2016
India clears path for first Apple Retail Store – July 21, 2016
Indian government expected allow Apple Retail Stores without any sourcing requirement for 2-3 years – June 6, 2016
Indian government discussing waiver to permit Apple Retail Stores – May 30, 2016
Blow for Apple and Indian consumers as Indian government pushes protectionism – May 25, 2016
Blow for Apple and Indian consumers as Indian government pushes protectionism – May 25, 2016
Apple hits setback in push to open retail stores in India – May 24, 2016
Apple’s U-turn in India: From arrogance to servility – May 23, 2016
Apple finds potential new factory hub – in India – May 23, 2016
Apple’s Tim Cook samples Bollywood, cricket, in bid to woo India – May 21, 2016
India shows Apple CEO Cook the love it’s yet to give the pricey iPhone – May 20, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: ‘We are in India for the next thousand years’ – May 20, 2016
Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook at his first cricket game in India – May 19, 2016
Apple opens Maps development office in Hyderabad, India – May 19, 2016
Apple CEO Cook debuts in India – May 18, 2016
Apple to open first-of-its-kind iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in India – May 18, 2016
Tim Cook visits India: Apple to expand its Indian software development center, build local start-up accelerator program – May 17, 2016
Apple Retail Stores to open in India by end of next year – May 16, 2016
iPhone sales surge 56% in India as Apple eats into Samsung’s high-end share – May 8, 2016
Apple deprivileged as India bows to Washington D.C. consensus on mobile phone import tariffs – May 7, 2016
India rejects Apple’s plan to import and sell refurbished iPhones – May 3, 2016


  1. Apple will try to drive a hard bargain and probably lose out on the Indian smartphone market. India has every right to look out for its own country and I understand their dilemma. I’m not so sure Apple should try to extract so many concessions from such a poor country. I wonder what Samsung would do. They’d probably give in and get their products sold. Apple is too arrogant to give in. Maybe Apple is simply playing hardball because they’ve got nothing to lose. How many iPhones are going to be bought in India? A million or so? Is it even worth it for Apple?

    1. You do know that India is about to pass China as the world’s most populous country, right? The Indian middle class is quite substantial in proportion, and huge in absolute numbers. Even a very small market penetration could make India one of Apple’s largest markets. Definitely worth whatever trouble it takes.

    2. Apple knows it’s not going to get everything it’s asking for. Just like any negotiation you go to the table with a big, long list that you know is going to be pared back. The Indians will drive just a hard bargain as Apple will.

  2. India is imposing, or attempting to impose, significant requirements on Apple before it will allow the company to operate stores and sell products within their country. Requiring Apple to source 30 percent of its components locally is a huge requirement. Apple could not sell its products in the U.S. or most other countries in the world if similar conditions were applied.

    I understand India’s desire to accelerate high-value manufacturing within its borders. But Apple has a right to push back. In the end, Apple and India will either reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, or Apple will back off for a while until there is a shift in India’s government.

    This is simply a business deal. Apple faces much greater long term difficulties in China, in my opinion, both because of the nature of the Chinese government and the fact that Apple has much less leverage. Even if Apple wanted to reduce its reliance on China, it would take decades to develop alternatives to the existent component and assembly supply chain in China.

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