Prime minister Narendra Modi is trying to boost technology manufacturing in the country through his ‘Make in India’ initiative.
His government in June exempted foreign retailers for three years from a requirement to locally source 30% of goods sold in their stores.
The Wall Street Journal said Apple, in a letter to the federal government last month, outlined manufacturing plans and asked for financial incentives.
Indian government representatives were not available to comment while an Apple spokesman in India did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters seeking comment.
Local manufacturing would help Apple open retail stores in the country where its iPhones account for less than 2% of Indian smartphones sales.
Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co — also known as Foxconn — which makes Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads, has a manufacturing facility in southern India.
India’s smartphone market is next year expected to overtake that of the US as the world’s second-largest behind China, according to research firm IDC, the Wall Street Journal reported. For years, sales in China fuelled Apple’s expansion, but now growth there is slowing.
Separately, Reuters reported that Apple’s new wireless headphones could be a problem for recyclers.
Apple has been promoting a more environmentally conscious image after having come under fire in the past for constructing its devices so tightly that their components can be difficult to cost-effectively disassemble for recycling.