Bengaluru: The Government of Karnataka Friday said it welcomes Apple Inc.'s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the city. "Apples intention to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally," an official release signed by Karnataka IT minister Priyank Kharge said.
It said Apple's representatives, led by Priya Balasubramaniam, VP iPhone operations; Ali Khanafer (head, government affairs); Dheeraj Chugh (director, iphone operations); and Priyesh Povanna (country counsel) met ministers and officials of the Karnataka government and had positive discussions about the initiatives in manufacturing and possible collaborations with state government in other areas.
The release did not detail what the initial manufacturing operations would be. However, reports quoting highly placed government sources had earlier said that the iconic iPhones would be manufactured in Bengaluru by Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple. "Wistron has plans for setting up iPhone manufacturing plant for domestic market in Peenya," they had said. Apples decision on initial manufacturing in Bengaluru has further enhanced the city's reputation as the most preferred destination for foreign investment and further validation of State Government policies aimed at fostering manufacturing, innovation and investments in Karnataka, the release added. Local manufacturing is expected to help Apple price its phones more competitively in India as it currently attracts 12.5 percent additional duty on imports.
This would be Apple's second big project for Bengaluru. In May, Apple had announced setting up a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community. The announcement was made as part of the visit of Apple CEO Tim Cook to India.