Apple wants to bring iPad assembly to India but there’s a catch

Apple has been slowly ramping up its assembly line in India. Recently we heard that the Cupertino based company was looking to bring iPhone 12 production to India and now reports suggest that Apple is interested in bringing iPads to India as well.

However, there is a caveat. Apple is looking to decrease its dependence on China, it is seeking incentives from the Indian government under the PLI scheme to lessen its financial burden. And iPads are mostly manufactured in China and the company recently started diversifying the tablet assembly by diversifying production to Taiwan.

According to an unnamed source quoted by Reuters, “The government is asking Apple to get iPads assembled by its contract manufacturers here, the non-Chinese companies.” 

However, Apple is citing lack of supply chain and facilities as big as China to negotiate a larger pie in the new PLI scheme that is slated to be announced by the end of this month.

This new scheme will reportedly earmark Rs. 70 billion or $964.5 million for the next five years to promote manufacture within India. This amount will be given as a cashback to these manufacturers. However, Apple along with other manufacturers want the government to increase the pool to Rs. 200 million before the new performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme is locked. 

Made in India iPad?

This new development comes days after Wistron, the riot-hit Apple assembler, is about to re-start its operations in the country. The said factory has been closed from mid-December after violence broke out due to payment-related labour issues and has since been put on probation by Apple.

Apart from Wistron, Pegatron and Foxconn are the other contract manufacturers that assemble Apple products in India. And Foxconn along with Compal Electronics and China’s BYD Electronic International are the three manufacturers that assemble iPads and MacBooks for the company.

While the government is keen on getting Apple to start manufacturing more products in the country, it may not give a green signal to BYD electronics due to the ongoing tension between both the neighbouring countries.

Hence, it is most likely that the new assembly line would be set up by one of the existing contract manufacturers. And even if everything goes as per the plan, a Made-in-India iPad may only be available sometime late next year.

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