Apple eyeing incentives to start assembling iPads in India

Centre planning another ₹500 crore PLI over five years to boost local manufacturing of wearables like smartwatches, sources added

Apple

Apple Inc, the makers of iPhone, is reportedly planning to start manufacturing iPad tablets in India, making it an major export hub. The iPhone-maker is planning to take part in a scheme that aims at boosting India’s export of computer products, said a Reuters report.

Last year, the country had launched a $6.7 billion plan to boost its smartphone exports and Apple had joined it via contract manufacturers. Another incentive is in the pipeline to drive local manufacturing of IT products, including tablets and laptops, the report said.

Sources said the new ₹700 crore performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that will offer cashback to manufacturers for exports, is expected to be launched by February end. They said Apply and others are now lobbying for a ₹2,000 crore budgetary outlay before the plan is finalised.

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The developments come at a time when the iPhone-maker’s supplier Wistron is restarting its operations in Karnataka after it fell victim to a rampage by angry workers.

Besides, the Centre is also planning another ₹500 crore PLI over five years to boost local manufacturing of wearables like smartwatches, the sources added.

A bulk of iPads are assembled in China. But to reduce the impact of US-China trade war and the coronavirus crisis, Apple is diversifying its production to countries like Vietnam where Foxconn is building assembly lines for iPads and MacBooks, and India.

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Sources said, in India, Apple’s iPads will likely be assembly by one of its existing suppliers as early as this year. They said the government wants them to get their iPads assembled by its contract manufacturers here, who are non-Chinese.

Apple has three contractors in India – Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron – and it’s not clear which of these would assemble iPads.

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