TECH: Apple will start building iPhones in India by April

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Priyank Kharge, the IT minister for the Indian state of Karnataka, has said that Apple will soon begin assembling iPhones in the country. Kharge tells Bloomberg News that manufacturing will begin in state capital Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, by the end of April. Apple is said to be partnering with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron for its Indian operations.

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Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state,” Kharge said in a tweet, while also telling Bloomberg News that all Indian-produced iPhones will be for the domestic market. Apple, which has reportedly negotiated hard with the Indian government on tax exemptions and other incentives, is yet to comment.

“I feel really good about how we’re doing [in India],” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on an earnings call this week after reporting record revenues for the country. “We are in discussions with a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country and believe it’s a great place to be.”

Apple still only has a small share of the market in India, since its devices are priced too high for the majority of consumers. With a population of around 1.3 billion, however, the country is seen as one of Apple’s most important long-term growth markets.