Apple commits to Make in India, reportedly to double employment there

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Apple CEO Tim Cook made his first visit to India in seven years and met with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi as the world's largest company is looking to make India an iPhone production base.

Following inaugurating Apple's first retail store in India in Mumbai on April 18, Cook met with Modi on April 19, discussing reciprocal ties between Apple and India. Cook said in a tweet that with a shared vision of the positive impact technology can make on India, Apple is committed to growing and investing in India. Modi also tweeted that he was glad to exchange views on diverse topics and highlight the tech-powered transformations taking place in India.

In addition to meeting with Modi, Narendra also met with Ashwini Vaishnaw, India's minister for electronics & IT, and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India's minister of state of electronics & IT. Both said in their respective tweets that they talked about manufacturing, electronics, exports, job creation, and skills.

The first day of Cook's visit to India, when he inaugurated the first Apple Store in India, marked the company's bullishness on India's huge and growing market, while the second day of the trip was primarily for the supply chain diversification.

Businessline and PTI quoted respective sources saying that Cook reaffirmed Apple's commitment to India and manufacturing and will double the employment base, doubling the jobs from 1 million to 2 million in device-making. Meanwhile, a source told PTI that the Indian government promised to offer support for manpower skills that Apple requires for manufacturing in India.

Cook's first trip to India as Apple CEO in 2016 was to establish a developer center for iOS and capitalize on the opportunity that Modi's Make in India might offer. In 2017, Wistron became the first assembler in India to set up its manufacturing facility for making iPhones.

Cook's visit also followed two visits in less than a year by Foxconn chairman Young Liu, during which Liu also met with Modi and other officials. WSJ quoted sources saying that Foxconn was looking to make iPads as well as iPhones in India.