The company is close to signing a deal to purchase land in India's tech hub of Bengaluru and will likely invest $157 million to develop the site, two government officials say. ICT Service Management Solutions, the same Wistron unit that assembles Apple's low cost iPhone SE in India, has been looking for about 100 acres in the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
Wistron is likely to use at least a part of this land to set up new assembly lines for Apple, the sources said. A third source said Apple was likely to start assembling its iPhone 6s models in India via Wistron soon, as it looks to cut costs and diversify its production base beyond greater China.
Another source says that the assembly of iPhone SE devices was a pilot to test the waters and the next logical step is to expand the line. Notably, ICT recently gained federal approval to import machinery from China to India which could be used to set up new iPhone production lines.
India is an emerging market and local assembly will help Apple save on import taxes, price phones cheaper and potentially widen its customer base.