According to the Wall Street Journal (via Reuters), Apple is in talks with India to explore the possibility of assembling products in this country. These negotiations come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to boost his “Make in India” initiative and where Apple seeks to invest more in the world’s second largest mobile market. Last June, Modi ordered his government to exempt foreign merchants from tax for three years, while demanding to recover 30% of the goods that were sold in their stores. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple sent a letter to the Indian government last month describing its manufacturing plans and asking the latter to offer financial facilities. Apple and representatives of the Indian state have not yet commented on it. However, in September 2015, Apple boss Tim Cook met with Indian Prime Minister Modi to discuss a number of topics and Cook would have responded positively to Modi’s invitation to open a factory in India. Foxconn previously reported that he was looking to have the opportunity to expand in India to produce iPhone and iPad.
Apple has teamed up with the e-commerce giant Flipkart to sell the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in India, where these mobile devices came out last October. Apple does not yet have a license to sell products directly to Indian customers and this has prompted consumers to go through third-party merchants to get their hands on the company’s flagship models. Apple’s iPhone currently accounts for less than 2% of smartphone sales in India.