Apple assembly partner Wistron has received initial approval from India’s government to build a new iPhone factory in the country.
The Economic Times reports that India’s IT ministry has given assent to Taiwan-based Wistron to construct the new factory, which now just needs approval from the Indian Cabinet to go ahead. Wistron will make cheaper iPhones in the new plant, reportedly beginning with the iPhone 8.
Apple’s other main iPhone assembly partner, Foxconn, is waiting for approval for a similar plant in India, where it plans to build Apple’s flagship handsets, including the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The company is looking for ways to diversify its supply chain away from China.
The moves are all a part of Apple’s efforts to comply with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Made in India” initiative, which requires at least 30% of the products sold by foreign firms be manufactured or assembled inside the country.
Apple sees a great opportunity in India, as the country is the world’s second largest smartphone market, yet just one in four Indian citizens own a smartphone, presenting a great opportunity for growth in the country. However, so far Apple has had little success in the price-sensitive market, as over 75% of the phones sold in the country go for less than $250.