Taiwanese contract manufacturer has also requested that its
application be fast-tracked, the official at the state
government of Karnataka in southern India told Reuters.
The move comes less than two weeks after the Wall Street Journal
reported that Apple was in talks with India's federal government
about the possibility of assembling products in one of the
world's biggest smartphone markets, where the U.S. tech firm
controls less than 2 percent.
Apple setting up production in India would be a significant win
for the government which has embarked on a major campaign to
attract global manufacturers under the slogan "Make in India".
"Wistron has approached us to expedite certain clearances with
regards to the augmentation and expansion of its existing unit,"
said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on
the matter and so declined to be identified.
Whether Apple will begin manufacturing in India is unknown, but
Wistron's desire to expand "pretty quickly" could represent
"several steps in that direction," the official said.
Apple did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Wistron could not be reached for comment.
Analysts have said local manufacturing could come as part of a
wider strategy for Apple to expand in India and even lower
prices after Chief Executive Tim Cook visited the country in May
and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Certainly that (local manufacturing) will help in some level of
cost optimization," said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta.
"Because looking at the current tax structure, local facilities
do provide some kind of cost advantage."
Another of Apple's Taiwanese suppliers, Hon Hai Precision
Industry Co Ltd - commonly known as Foxconn - also has a
manufacturing facility in southern India.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.