Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron, a supplier to Apple, reportedly applied to local authorities to expand its parts plant in the city of Bengaluru in southern India.
According to Reuters, Wistron asked officials in Karnataka state to fast-track its application. “Wistron has approached us to expedite certain clearances with regards to… expansion of its existing unit,” a government official told Reuters.
It’s not known if Apple plans to start manufacturing smartphones in India, but the official said Wistron’s aim to expand quickly could “represent several steps in that direction”.
The news comes just two weeks after Apple was reported to be holding talks with the Indian government about manufacturing its products in the country. The Cupertino-based company sent the government a letter outlining its plans and seeking financial incentives to move some production to India, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to have raised the issue of local production of iPhones with Apple CEO Tim Cook when they met last May.
The US vendor isn’t in the top five in the market, where Samsung and local brands Micromax, Lava and Intex had more than a 50 per cent market share in Q3.
Smartphone growth in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, outpaced the global market in Q3 as demand for mobile broadband connectivity soars and operators rapidly expand their 4G network coverage. Shipments in India increased 23 per cent during the quarter, according to Counterpoint Research.
The government’s ‘Make in India’ push has boosted local production of mobile phones from just 14 per cent of total sales in 2014 to 67 per cent this year, with that percentage forecast to rise to 96 per cent by 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.