Why Apple Won't Manufacture iPads, MacBooks In India Anytime Soon

Apple is not planning to produce iPads and Mac personal computers (PCs) in India but is considering manufacturing AirPods in the country, according to insiders.

What Happened? As revealed in an Economic Times report, contrary to broad expectations that the tech giant would produce all its major products in India, the Cupertino-based company plans to focus on expanding iPhone manufacturing and increasing the production of components in India.

“Apple has not expressed interest in manufacturing Mac PCs in India,” said an unnamed official speaking to ET.

That said, the government remains hopeful that the revised and enhanced Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware might entice Apple to manufacture Macs in India. Industry executives point out that the company’s Mac sales in India and globally have sharply slowed in the January-March quarter, and the future doesn’t look particularly bright.

India seems to have missed an opportunity with iPads too. Apple attempted to relocate some iPad production to India in 2021 but failed to obtain government approval because the vendor, BYD, was a wholly-owned Chinese company. Instead, the company moved to Vietnam last year. At that time, BYD Electronics had also applied for the smartphone manufacturing PLI but was not selected.

While the government is open to Chinese companies participating in electronics manufacturing in India, these companies should form a joint venture with an Indian entity. Officials confirmed that the government has not yet received any such joint venture application for component manufacturing.

According to an official from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), Apple’s three Taiwanese contract manufacturers — Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron — have pledged to expand until 2026 under the smartphone manufacturing PLI scheme.

Read next: Apple's India Story Turns Fresh Page: iPhone 15 Manufacturing Entrusted To Tata Group

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