Apple did not respond to an email seeking comments.
New Delhi: India is “open and flexible” on negotiating terms with Apple for making iPhones in the country, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said, asserting that the tech titan “will not be a loser” if it opts to do so in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
In an interview to PTI, the IT minister said: “We are in the process of serious engagement with Apple. Let us await their response. I can only tell you, Apple will not be a loser in India (because of the opportunities it presents)... but let us wait for the formal proposal.”
He exuded confidence that India offers a massive domestic market and export potential for smartphone companies.
He asserted however that incentives cannot be doled out to one player, to the detriment of another.
“Naturally, incentive cannot be in a manner that dislocates the current players. But we are open and flexible in case of Apple, what they bring to the table,” Mr Prasad said.
India is not just a large consumer market but can also serve as a strong export hub for global mobile phone makers like Apple, he said, adding that the government is engaged in discussions with the US-based firm on the issue.
Apple did not respond to an email seeking comments. Smartphone makers are looking to boost business in India as sales in other large markets like the US and China stagnate.
India is the second largest market globally after China in overall mobile subscriber base, and had 1.18 billion users at the end of March 2018.
The explosion in mobile usage has been fuelled by low tariffs, liberal data allowances and intense competition.