Wistron, the contract manufacturer of Apple in India, has received approval for a ₹5,000 crore plan to make high-end Apple devices in the country. The approval from the IT Ministry is seen as a big boost to the government’s Make in India initiative. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer already makes Apple’s lower end iPhones like iPhone SE at an assembly unit in Bangalore. With the IT MInistry nod, Wistron will expand to build newer iPhone models.
“We have just approved Wistron’s Rs 5,091-crore application and it is with the Cabinet now… Wistron will make the latest iPhone models,” IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told The Economic Times in an interview. He also confirmed that Foxconn–Apple’s manufacturer in China, submitted an application for a ₹2,500-crore project on December 31. The government says that it is not concerned about the additional incentives offered by China, which aims to be a leader in electronics manufacturing but Prasad says India has significant advantages in comparison.
“Openness of India’s democratic polity, where creativity is recognized and respected, adds its own incentive. We gave little incentive and you saw how many people came,” he told the newspaper.
Prasad says India holds an advantage in at least three areas–a burgeoning workforce, English fluency, skilled workers in plenty. The fact that India is the fastest growing smartphone market on the horizon makes the country lucrative to both OEMs and contract manufacturers. He also added that the government’s recent announcement with the software products policy will create world-class companies born in the country.
The minister also announced that the “government will lend full support to software product makers, including protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)”. “India is known for its software services—we want it to become a big hub for products,” he said. “The policy aims to create Indian Googles and Facebooks.”
He also added that the government is looking forward to sourcing software products from these Indian companies and has even set up a ₹5000 crore fund to support development. Alongside the plans for local manufacturing and software products policy, Prasad also expects social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to abide by the Election Commission’s decree on campaigning being halted 48 hours before the polling starts.
“I would expect social media platforms to give due consideration and respect to the wish and the mandate of the Election Commission,” he said. “There will have to be technological solutions to address these concerns over the fairness of election campaign and the onus is on the social media platforms… As these social media platforms respect the (legislative) institutions of America, Indian parliamentary institutions are also to be respected.”