Apple is set to invest $1 billion in India as it gets ready to export its “Made in India” iPhones, according to a new report out today.
Times of India says Foxconn is the main investment partner in Apple’s latest push in the country, with the Taiwanese assembler’s factory in Chennai to be used to make Apple products for shipping to global markets. A previous report claimed as much as 70 to 80 percent of devices assembled by Foxconn in India are expected to be exported elsewhere.
Apple had initially trialed limited local production of some iPhone models in India via Wistron’s Bangalore factory, but now it’s adding its other big Taiwanese manufacturing partner to the mix.
The source said “testing is under way” for the products that have been made in India, and added that “Apple is also seeking clarity” on export incentives that the government currently offers.
In July it was reported that Wistron had recently begun exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe, in a move intended to further cement India as one of the company’s assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.
Back in August, India eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which had long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Before the change, Apple had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices.
However, according to industry watchers, Apple is said to be taking the long view and treating India “more as a production hub than a significant market” for device sales.