Global tech giant Apple Inc's contract manufacturer Foxconn has announced plans to set up ₹13,600 crore iPhone unit project in Devanahalli near Bengaluru in Karnataka. The company aims to start operations by April 2024. Karnataka large and medium industries minister MB Patil said the state would hand over the allotted land to the company by July 1, 2023.

Foxconn’s India subsidiary earlier signed the deal to acquire a 300-acre land parcel on the outskirts of India’s tech capital Bengaluru as it eyes ramping up the production of iPhones.

"Senior Management representatives of #Foxconn visited me to discuss the establishment of an #iPhone assembly plant at Devanahalli. We addressed project-related challenges, emphasizing the development of vital industrial infrastructure and maximizing the creation of employment opportunities. Shri @PriyankKharge, Minister for IT and BT, was also present during the discussion," Patil said via a tweet.

The project is expected to create 50,000 jobs, officials said. "A great start for Sri @MBPatil’s tenure. Assuring investors & industry captains that Karnataka will provide a conducive environment for business was the need of the hour. Foxconn investment of $1.7bn will pave way for more business & restore the State’s status as the #1 destination," said state IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge.

Foxconn currently manufactures Apple’s iPhones at its factory in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, where it employs over 15,000 workers, most of them women. It also plans to invest $500 million in Telangana and create 25,000 jobs. Taiwanese electronics major Hon Hai Technology group's subsidiary and the Telangana government recently signed an MoU, under which the company will invest in the state and create more than 1 lakh jobs in the 10-year period.

The Taiwanese electronics giant also has plans to expand the factory, located near Chennai, and hire more workers. Foxconn's plans coincide with Apple's vision for the Indian market, where it is trying hard to convince India’s growing middle class to switch to iPhones. In the company's March quarter earnings presser, chief executive officer Tim Cook had recently said Apple grew in ‘very strong’ double digits in India. “Looking at the business in India, we did set a quarterly record, grew very strong, double digits year-over-year,” the Apple CEO said, adding that there are a lot of people coming into the middle class in India. “I really feel that India is at a tipping point, and it's great to be there,” he said.

In April, Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the iPhone maker’s first two stores in India – Apple Saket in Delhi and Apple BKC in Mumbai. Foxconn also has bigger plans for India, and the company has entered into the semiconductor space as well. In September 2022, Vedanta and Taiwan-based Hon Hai Technology Group, the parent company of electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a chip manufacturing facility in Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) in Gujarat with an investment of ₹1.54 lakh crore.

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