After Made in India iPhones, Apple Likely to Start Manufacturing MacBooks and iPads

The Tim Cook-led consumer tech giant could reap some benefits from the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware.

Highlights

  1. The Indian government is reportedly working on renewing the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
  2. It wants Apple to make MacBooks and iPads in India after the iPhone with the help of the new scheme
  3. The company has not officially confirmed any details about the same.

India lately has been among the priority markets for Apple. The US tech giant, known for its iPhones worldwide, has had a minnow’s share in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. However, over the past few years, Apple has witnessed significant growth. It is not just about sales as the company is also considering making India its hub for manufacturing. Last year, within a few days of the iPhone 14 launch, the company confirmed that it is making the latest iPhone in India. In comparison, the iPhone 13 and older generation models were made in India at least a couple of quarters after the global launch. Now, Apple is likely to make more products in India, including iPad and MacBook models.

The Tim Cook-led consumer tech giant could reap some benefits from the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware. According to a Times of India report, the government is looking to broad-base the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware to nearly Rs 20,000 crore against the existing outlay of Rs 7,350 crore which failed to receive much response from the industry.

China’s Loss Could be India’s Gain For Manufacturing Apple Products Locally

The report, citing top sources in the IT ministry, stated that the government wants Apple to increase its manufacturing base in India by kicking off local manufacturing of MacBooks and iPad. This comes at a time when Apple itself is looking for alternative manufacturing hubs outside China. Extreme lockdown measures, a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases and geopolitical issues have led to the supply chain in China getting affected significantly. The impact of the supply chain disruption was such that the wait time for the iPhone 14 Pro model was at least 3-4 weeks long for customers. Apple, at the time, announced that the COVID-19 restrictions temporarily impacted its primary assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China. Apple said the facility is operating at “significantly reduced capacity.” 

India, on the other hand, has, fortunately, had a smooth ride dealing with COVID-19 cases, which has led to various sectors running as usual. Apple, too, has witnessed a successful run of its iPhone producton in India as its supply chain partners — Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron — are making iPhones worth billions of dollars in the country. The TOI report stated that the government wants Apple to expand its base and make MacBooks and iPads in India.

The IT Ministry has reportedly sent a proposal for the enhancement of the PLI scheme to Finance and other related ministries. The new scheme is likely to offer up to 5 per cent incentive as opposed to 1-4 per cent of the original scheme passed in February 2021. Unlike smartphones, where the government had put up a duty of 20 per cent on imports, there are no restrictions on laptops as the category falls under ITA-1, which allows imports at zero duty.

At the time of writing this, Apple has not released any official statement regarding any progress or update regarding the manufacturing of any other products other than its iPhones in India. Once official, the company is likely to release a statement to confirm the news.