Apple iPhones will be made in Karnataka. The government of Karnataka on Thursday said that it welcomed a proposal from Apple Inc to begin initial manufacturing operations in the state, in a sign that the tech company is slowly moving forward with plans to assemble iPhones in the country.
Has Apple got its way?
“While there is no clarity on the matter, there is absolutely no intent to give waivers in complete to Apple,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO at Greyhound Research. “There may be some waivers, sure. But the government’s focus is the need to offer a level-playing field to all participants,” said Gogia.
Should other smartphone makers feel the heat?
“Absolutely, they have all the reasons to feel threatened,” said Gogia. According to Gogia, most of the local assembling units are not that sophisticated, and an iPhone assembling unit will have state of the art technologies which could change things.
“What could happen is that the component manufacturers who were earlier supplying to other manufacturers, will start focussing on Apple. This factor of exclusivity between component manufacturers can become very high with Apple coming in,” said Gogia.
According to Gogia, the ecosystem does exist in some fashion in India. “I think it would be fair to say that the ecosystem will have more opportunities and hence become stronger. But it would be wrong to say that the ecosystem will come because of Apple.”
“Karnataka will of course be a big beneficiary, but component markets are spread out all across India, so it would mean job creations in those markets as well. They may have a liaison office in Karnataka, but job creation would not be limited to Karnataka,” said Gogia.