Apple reportedly close to India manufacturing deal in hopes of expanding reach in market

The world’s second most populous nation is on track to become its second largest smartphone market, soon surprising the US, according to industry analysts. For Apple, however, it’s been a tough market to crack.

A newly published report from Canalys doesn’t even feature the company in a breakdown with Samsung in the top spot at 22-percent, in a market otherwise dominated by Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo and Vivo.

For Apple, India offers a lot of untapped potential, an opportunity to recapture some of the success it found in China in recent years, as growth in that country has begun to stall. The iPhone maker has seen some growth of late, with 2.5 million shipment in India – up from two million the year prior.

True growth in the country, however, may well require a more hands-on approach. Apple has been actively pursuing a plan to extend manufacturing to India, and according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company is getting close, with an official telling the paper, “It’s almost a done deal.”

Apple VP Priya Balasubramaniam has been meeting with officials in the country, hammering out some incentives for the company involving tax and tariff exemptions, which said official has referred to as “workable.” Reuters, meanwhile, quotes a positive statement from the company,

We’ve been working hard to develop our operations in India.We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations.

The company hopes such an expansion would engender goodwill among the local smartphone buying public.