The government of India wants Apple to participate in its new incentive that could result in the first “Made in India” iPads as early as this year, according to a new report from Reuters.
India has set aside 70 billion rupees, or $964.5 million, over five years as cash-back to manufacturers for exports, with a government official saying that India “is asking Apple to get iPads assembled by its contract manufacturers here, the non-Chinese companies.”
Apple’s contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron all run major manufacturing plants in India. Foxconn’s and Wistron’s facilities are tasked with iPhone assembly work.
It’s unclear which of the three suppliers would assemble iPads.
India-made iPads are coming
Apple already participates in India’s $6.7 billion scheme to boost smartphone exports via its contract manufacturers. The new incentive should further boost local gadget manufacturing.
The vast majority of iPads are being assembled in China although Apple has been trying to diversifying production to India and Vietnam. Foxconn, the world’s leading contract manufacturer, is also building facilities in Vietnam to assemble iPads and Mac laptops.
First India-made iPads could be coming down the pike later this year.
In India, Apple will likely have iPad’s assembled by one of its existing suppliers in the country as early as this year, two of the sources said, though its plans could get delayed as India makes the entry of BYD difficult amid its wariness to give new tech business to Chinese companies.
India may also offer incentives to foreign companies like Apple to build wearable devices such as smartwatches in the country, which Reuters says could be announced within two months. Apple last year finally opened its online store in India. However, The Cupertino technology giant has yet to open brick-and-mortar stores of its own in the 1.35 billion people market of India.