Apple will begin assembling iPhones in India by the end of April, a regional minister says, heightening its focus on the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market as growth slows elsewhere.

The US company has tapped Taiwan’s Wistron to put together its phones in the tech capital of Bangalore in Karnataka, said Priyank Kharge, the state’s information technology minister.

Apple executives met with him in January and confirmed the timeline, he said in an interview.

The start of iPhone assembly in India comes after months of speculation on Apple’s plan for the market, which is led by rival Samsung. It signals a renewed focus on the country, where it just scrapes into the top 10, as growth begins to slow in China and other more mature markets. The Cupertino, California-based company is said to have put forward a long list of demands in negotiations with India’s federal government, including a 15-year tax holiday to import components and equipment.

“Apple’s iPhones will be made in Bangalore and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market,” said Mr Kharge, IT minister for Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the capital. Mr Kharge said the state will help Apple if it decides to turn to other contract manufacturers in the region. “We did not discuss any other incentives,” he said.

Apple didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment.


 

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