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    Apple will manufacture iPhones in India from April 2017

    Apple is going to assemble iPhone in India starting from the end of April, 2017. The move has been long in the making, but an official statement from the government of Karnataka has now made this official. The U.S. company has tapped Taiwan’s Wistron Corp. To put together its phones in the tech capital of Bangalore in Karnataka, said Priyank Kharge, who is the Information Technology minister of the Karnataka state. Apple executives met with him in January and confirmed the timeline, he said in an interview. India will be only the third country in the world to assemble iPhones, clearly an indication of how important the country has become for Apple.

    India is an important market for Apple in terms of further expansion, considering the US, Europe and China markets pretty much saturated by now. It would not have been an easy decision for Apple, given that it will have to source about 30%. Apple currently sells through third-party retailers in India, which accounts for only around 1% of global iPhone sales. Apple has only a 2% share of the Indian market, well behind rival Samsung on 23%, according to research firm Canalys. In 2016, Apple sold a modest 2.5 million iPhones in India, which was good enough for only 10th place among all phones sold there.

    Apple is set to start making iPhones in India

    It is not clear whether the Karnataka plans would help it clear that hurdle but experts said manufacturing locally surely reduce the company's production cost and enable it to lower the premium catagory prices. "They're eager to be here because they've identified India as a strategic focus market, they had a fantastic 2016 in India and shipped more two million devices to India, and now they're looking to ultimately manufacture here as that gives them more flexibility to respond to market changes." said Jaideep Mehta of research firm IDC. However with ith a population of around 1.3 billion, India is seen as one of Apple's most important long-term growth markets.

    Apple would neither confirm nor deny the Indian official's remarks. Last week the company mentioned in a statement that it has been talking to the Indian government about "expanding" its local operations.

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