It’s official: Apple will make iPhones in India at Bengaluru facility

BENGALURU: It’s official. Apple will soon have `Made in India’ iPhones, and they will come out of a factory in Bengaluru. The Karnataka government on Thursday issued a release welcoming Apple’s proposal “to commence initial manufacturing operations” in the state. TOI was the first to report, in December+ , that Apple had finalized Bengaluru as the assembling location, but officials in neither Apple nor the government were then willing to confirm the development.

The release, signed by state IT minister Priyank Kharge, said Apple’s intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru “will foster cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally.” Though it did not provide a timeline, production is expected to begin in June.

India will be only the third country globally to assemble iPhones, an indication of how important the country has become for one of the world’s most valued companies.

The release said state ministers and officials had met with several senior Apple executives including Cupertino-based Priya Balasubramaniam, VP – iPhone operations, Dheeraj Chugh, director – iPhone operations, and Ali Khanafer, senior manager – government affairs (India and Middle East).
Taiwanese company Wistron, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Apple, will make the iPhones out of its facility in the city’s industrial hub of Peenya. In December, Apple had published job openings on its portal for several positions at its OEM in Bengaluru, including an iPhone operations program manager whose responsibility would involve leading the OEM operations team, managing component readiness, ensuring parts availability, quality and collaborating with cross-functional supply chain teams.

The government said discussions are on with Apple for collaborations in other areas too. It did not specify what these areas are, but the government is said to be pushing for manufacture of some phone components too, so as to create a manufacturing ecosystem in the city.

In May, Apple had announced a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community and also guide Indian developers to leverage Apple’s programming language Swift and build apps for Apple TV and Apple Watch.

“We made concerted efforts to reach out to Apple directly. We want to create a conducive environment for global majors like Apple so that we emerge as their preferred partner in their India growth story,” Kharge told TOI. Gujarat, Maharasthra and Telangana too were competing for the Apple facility.

Apple uses a fairly complex supply chain. The parts for the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac are manufactured, mostly by third parties, across 28 countries. It has 766 suppliers, of which 346 are based in China, 126 in Japan, and 69 in the US. There is one in India, a unit of Flextronics in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

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“There is no component ecosystem in the country besides what Samsung has done in India. With Apple’s China sales slowing down, it’s opportunity India, and Apple might look at a different SKU, distribution and sourcing model to make it affordable to millions of aspiring customers,” said Navkendar Singh, senior research manager – mobile devices research, India and South Asia, in research firm IDC.

Vishal Tripathi, research director in Gartner, said the move to assemble in Bengaluru is a good starting point that positions India as a strong alternative site to China and Taiwan that have been strongholds in manufacturing. “It has put India in a different stead,” he said.


DMRC Launches Free Wi-Fi Facility at Airport Express Line Metro Stations

DMRC Launches Free Wi-Fi Facility at Airport Express Line Metro StationsDMRC Launches Free Wi-Fi Facility at Airport Express Line Metro Stations
DMRC plans to introduce free Wi-Fi facility at all metro stations
Facility launched at Shivaji Stadium Metro station
Wi-Fi facility was already available at four major Metro stations
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has now launched free Wi-Fi facilities at metro stations that fall on Airport Express Line. Moreover, it has announced that it plans to roll out this facility to all metro stations gradually. DMRC’s Managing Director Mangu Singh launched the facility on Friday at Shivaji Stadium Metro station.

In order to provide free Wi-Fi facilities, DMRC has tied up with a consortium of companies led by M/s Techno Sat Comm, which currently runs India’s first Wi-Fi-on-train service on Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express. “The facility will use the globally acclaimed ‘T-Track 2.0 Wave 2 Solution’, also used on high speed trains worldwide,” DMRC said in its press release on Friday.

The free Wi-Fi facility has been titled ‘Oui DMRC Free Wi-Fi’ and users can avail this facility by a simple and direct login. ‘Oui DMRC Free Wi-Fi’ will be available on all six metro stations that fall on the Airport Express Line. The metro stations that fall on this line are New Delhi Station, Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi Aerocity, Airport, and Dwarka Sector 21.
DMRC says that with the facility, users will be able to use “all standard Internet applications inside the station premises like email, Facebook, Google, video chat, as well as live streaming of cricket and football matches etc.”

The Delhi Metro already provides Wi-Fi facility at its four biggest metro stations, that is, Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Central Secretariat, and Hauz Khas.

Tags: Delhi metro, DMRC, Delhi Metro Wi Fi, Wi Fi, India, Internet


AAP Government to Pilot Free Public Wi-Fi Facility at Sant Nagar Market

AAP Government to Pilot Free Public Wi-Fi Facility at Sant Nagar Market

As per its vision to provide free Wi-Fi at markets in Delhi, the AAP government has decided to launch a three-month pilot project for it.

The government will launch the service at Sant Nagar Market area in north Delhi’s Burari on March 15 and users will be able to download 50MB data every day free of cost.

Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), an advisory body of the AAP government, has roped in a local vendor of Sant Nagar Market for providing the facility.

“The vendor is already providing Wi-Fi service which is chargeable as of now. It will now provide freeWi-Fi service for three months on a trial basis. If we get good response, we will move the project further,” a senior government official said. During this period, the service provider will not charge the Delhi government.

Earlier this week, telecom operator Reliance Jio said it will provide free Wi-Fi services at six cricket stadiums during the upcoming T20 World Cup matches.

“Reliance Jio will install Wi-Fi network at six stadiums that will be complimentary for audience and provide unlimited access,” a RJIL spokesperson told reporters while launching the services at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi.

The company’s Wi-Fi network Jio Net will be available in Eden Garden at Kolkata, Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai), IS Bindra Stadium (Mohali), HPCA stadium (Dharamshala), Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru) and Feroz Shah Kotla (Delhi).

Jio Net was made operational at Wankhede Stadium during India and South Africa One-Day series in April 2015, where the company witnessed a record data usage.

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Tags: AAP, Delhi, India, Internet, Jio Net, Reliance Jio, Wi Fi

Lava Planning to Set Up R&D Facility in Hyderabad

Lava Planning to Set Up R&D Facility in Hyderabad

Domestic mobile handset manufacturer Lava plans to set up a research and development (R&D) facility in Hyderabad.

A company official on Thursday said this would be their second facility and would be bigger than the existing one in Bengaluru, which employs 400 people.

Sandeep Dongre, senior vice president and hub head, east, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, told reporters that they have submitted a proposal for setting up the facility in Hyderabad.

He said Lava plan to invest Rs. 200 crores in R&D over next three years.

R&D and distribution are the focus areas for the handset maker, which has drawn up big plans to increase its production capacity from current 2.5 million per month to 18 million with an an investment of Rs. 2,615 crores.

Under the first phase, the company already invested Rs. 56 crores. The second phase over two to four years envisage investment of Rs. 1,052 crores to double the capacity.

This includes investment of Rs. 500 crores in the upcoming manufacturing plant at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

Expected to be operational in two years, this will be Lava’s second plant after Noida.

The company will complete the investment plan in the third phase over five to eight years.

He said Lava doubled its revenues to Rs. 7,000 crores during 2015. The company expects high growth during the current year.

Under the second phase, it has set a revenue target of Rs. 18,000. The same is expected to be Rs. 92,000 crores in the third phase.

“We wexpect the revenues to be Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 crores in five years,” Dongre said.

It is also confident of generating one lakh jobs in seven years. The company currently employs 6,000 people.

Lava is also betting high on exports. Last year, 33 percent of its revenues came from overseas.

Lava claims to number one in Thailand and also exports to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Russia. It now plans to enter the African market.

The company has 10.5 percent market share in India in terms of volumes. Majority of the handsets are in feature phone segment. Smart phones, however, have increased to 30 percent last year from 20 percent the previous year.