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Apple looking to manufacture phones in India

New Delhi [India]: Apple executives met with the Indian Government officials on Wednesday to discuss a plan to make iPhones in the southern city of Bangalore.

Apple in a statement said it appreciated the constructive and open dialogue that took place with the government about further expanding our local operations, but it did not go into detail, CNNMoney reports.

The iPhone maker is trying hard to increase its presence in the fast-growing south Asian country as global sales stagnate. A year ago, it applied to open retail stores in India.

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Apple currently sells iPhones and other products in India through local distributors, but it lags far behind Samsung and Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Lenovo in terms of market share.

India is pursuing a ” Make in India” campaign to attract companies such as Apple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has taken several steps to promote foreign investments, including partial exemptions to a rule that overseas firms must source 30 percent of raw materials locally.

But so far it has stopped short of granting additional concessions to Apple, according to local media reports.

The potential payoff is huge. India has more than 300 million Smartphone users, according to technology research firm Counterpoint. It is projected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s second largest Smartphone market this year.

India’s fast-growing middle class presents an obvious opportunity, but with average annual incomes of $1,500, most of its 1.3 billion people can’t afford Apple’s expensive products.

“If you’re importing complete units the taxes for those are increasing and we don’t see the government backing down in that regard. For Apple, not having manufacturing in India raises the price of the iPhone even more,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, a research analyst at consulting firm IDC. (ANI)