Apple to begin iPhone manufacturing in India
Apple setting up iPhone plant in Bangalore, India Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Apple will begin assembling iPhones in India in April. The company has reached an agreement with the government in the southern Indian state of Karnataka to set up a facility in the industrial hub of Peenya in Bangalore.

"Apple's decision on initial manufacturing in Bengaluru (Bangalore) has further enhanced the reputation of Bengaluru as the most preferred destination for foreign investment and further validation of the state government policies aimed at fostering manufacturing, innovation and investments in Karnataka," the state IT department said in a statement.

The statement signed by Information Technology Minister Priyank Kharge said Apple representative led by Priya Balasubramaniam, vice president of iPhone operations; Ali Khanafer, head of government affairs; Dheeraj Chugh, director of iPhone operations; and Priyesh Povanna, country counsel, met ministers and officials of the state government to discuss the manufacturing initiative.

Just before the official confirmation, Kharge in an interview revealed that he was sure "considering the dynamic (nature of the) city, investment climate, (availability of) skilled manpower, Apple will come to the state", reports the Live Mint.

Taiwan's Wistron Corp, the original equipment manufacturer for Apple, is setting up the Peenya facility to assemble the phones.

"Apple's iPhones will be made in Bengaluru and all devices will be targeted at the domestic market," said Kharge."We did not discuss any incentives."

Apple was earlier reported to have sought a 15-year tax holiday on import of components and equipment.

India has emerged as the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world. According to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Apple sold 2.5 million iPhones in India from October 2015 to September 2016, marking a rise of more than 50% over the year-ago period.

Earlier, Foxconn was expected to set up a manufacturing plant in the western state of Maharashtra. There were reports that the plant would make only Apple products, but according to speculation, Foxconn had tied up with firms like Xiaomi and OnePlus.

India will become the third country to have an assembly unit for Apple's products. The others are in Brazil and China.