Apple is looking at further expanding its manufacturing operations in India. Senior government sources have told Business Today TV that top representatives from Apple India recently held a detailed meeting with officials from the Finance Ministry to discuss their plans for expanding iPhone manufacturing in India. 

According to the sources, the discussions centered around the future of smartphone manufacturing within India and how India’s policies could be aligned to support this initiative.

Apple’s relationship with India is a convoluted one. On the plus side, the tech giant is aiding the country’s “Made in India” initiative.

India’s mobile phone production grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% during 2014-2022 to cross a cumulative two billion units, reports Counterpoint Research. India is now the second-biggest mobile phone-producing country thanks to its “Made in India” service.

Apple’s contribution to “Made in India”smartphone shipments reached 25% in value terms last year, according to Counterpoint. “Made in India” shipments from the iPhone maker grew 65% year-over-year by volume and 162% year-over-year by value, taking the brand’s value share to 25% in 2022, up from 12% in 2021.

On the negative side of the Apple-India relationship, a broad coalition of America’s largest businesses — including Apple — has protested the abrupt way in which India introduced tech import restrictions this month, saying the surprise move will damage New Delhi’s ambitions to become a global manufacturing hub and harm consumers, reports Bloomberg.

In a letter to US officials earlier this month, eight American trade groups comprising the biggest players in technology and manufacturing asked the Department of Commerce, US Trade Representative and government more broadly to urge India to reconsider the policy. 

In a surprise announcement on Aug. 4, India announced it was banning inbound shipments of laptops and tablets without a license, reported Bloomberg. The article says that the companies had been expecting the government to implement some import measures, but wasn’t expecting this particular move or the speed with which it happened. 

However, in a notification published on August 4, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the implementation of the new import rule won’t go into effect till October 31. India’s Deputy IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar assured the industry players that New Delhi will provide a “transition period” before implementing the amended import policy.

The government in its notification gave no reason for the move, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been promoting local manufacturing and discouraging imports under his “Made in India” plan. Current regulations in India allow companies to import laptops freely, but the new rule mandates a special license for these products similar to restrictions India imposed in 2020 for inbound TV shipments.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today