Apple to start building iPhones in India within 6 weeks

India's federal government didn't accept most of Apple's demands for concessions, but manufacturing of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, and iPhone SE will start soon.

(Image: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Apple will begin iPhone manufacturing in India within the next four to six weeks, a government official told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s are said to be the first products manufactured by Apple partner Wistron in India, with iPhone SE set to come off assembly lines in roughly three months.

"Almost all preparations have been done for launching Apple's first phase project in Bangalore through Wistron," a government official said.

Apple couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Manufacturing iPhones in India, even if not the latest version, could allow Apple to gain a stronger foothold in the budding smartphone market where it only holds a roughly five percent share.

Apple has been working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for months to manufacture products in India, mainly seeking tax concessions that would allow the company to lower the cost of the iPhone.

In December 2016, it was reported Apple sent a letter to India's government outlining manufacturing plans and asking for financial incentives. Earlier this week, a government official told the Economic Times India has not accepted "most of the demands."

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