Apple seeks Indian government's consent for manufacturing iPhones in the country

A report on The Wall Street Journal states that Apple is now in discussions with the government on the possibility of manufacturing in India. The company is asking the Indian government for financial incentives to make its products in India, two senior government officials told the The Wall Street Journal.

To recall, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India back in June this year, his first since becoming the company CEO. Besides, even the iPhone-maker is showing keen interest in India which is the world's second largest market for handsets.

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Citing two government sources, the WSJ writes that Senior Trade Ministry authorities have already met in the last few weeks to discuss Apple's plans for Indian production facilities, but a decision is yet to be announced.

Its highly likely that the iPhones will just be assembled in India rather than being manufactured completely.

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"Financial incentives" are being sought by Apple to press ahead with any plants, according to the report, with the idea of making locally, and therefore selling locally, clearly appealing to the tech giant.

Apple has been negotiating with the Indian government to open Apple Stores in the country for years but has been unable to do so because of the country's stringent regulations on foreign direct investment. India is now the world's third-biggest smartphone market, behind China and the USA, with Gartner projecting smartphone shipments in the country to reach 139 million this year. Apple doesn't have much in the way of market penetration in India, partly because it doesn't have its own stores there. The expensive pricing on all of its premium products have posed as a major setback which companies like Samsung, Micromax, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others have taken advantage of with their affordable and effective smartphones. At the moment, iPhones are available in India through third-party retailers.

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Interesting, Apple does not have a single flagship store in India. The Cupertino, Calif. -based company manufactures in six countries including the U.S., Korea, and Japan.

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