We just heard that popular Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has now been granted approval by the Indian government to set up its own single-branded retail stores in India. After hearing such news we also reported that this could be a good sign for Apple as the Cupertino based company was also planning to set up its own retail stores in India.
And now as per Reuters report, it seems that the Indian government is considering exemption sought by Apple for setting up iPhone assembly units in India. Ramesh Abhishek, the top bureaucrat in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has also confirmed that the government is looking into Apple's request.
Apple executives have been meeting top government officials for the past months to seek concessions and provide details about its local manufacturing plans. In one encounter, the company had asked the government for a 15-year tax exemption on import of components and other pieces of equipment. However, Apple's request for a waiver of the norm was turned down by the government.
But it looks like the situation is changing now. Apple might soon get the exemption it has been demanding from the government. Moreover, the norms that the government had set have been relaxed to exempt foreign retailers for three years from the mandatory local sourcing. So we could see things working out in Apple's favor.
On the other hand, it will be interesting to see whether the company will be given the permission to set up a manufacturing base and retail stores in India anytime soon or not. Apple is currently assembling iPhone SE with the help of contract manufacturer Wistron in Bengaluru. But again, the company's main focus has been in expanding its manufacturing operations and also set up its own retail stores in the country.