India’s licensing fee for imported items such as Macs, iPads may backfire

Japanese electronic parts maker TDK Corp. will manufacture lithium ion (li-ion) battery cells for iPhones in India, reports Reuters.

India plans to impose a licensing requirement for imports of laptops, tablets and personal computers with immediate effect, “a move that could hit hard the likes of Apple, Dell and Samsung and force them to boost local manufacturing,” reports Reuters.

The government in its notification gave no reason for the move, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been promoting local manufacturing and discouraging imports under his “Make in India” plan. Current regulations in India allow companies to import laptops freely, but the new rule mandates a special license for these products similar to restrictions India imposed in 2020 for inbound TV shipments.

It’s possible India’s move could backfire. Apple’s contribution to “Made in India”smartphone shipments reached 25% in value terms last year, according to a March 28 Counterpoint Research report. 

Smartphones catapulted into the league of five most exported commodities by value in India, based on their harmonized system (HS) codes in fiscal year 2023 (FY23), up from the ninth rank in the pecking order in FY22, according to the Business Standard. This is thanks in part to the iPhone.(HS is a globally harmonized identification for a specific product used for export and import of the commodity.)

Apple has moved 7% of its entire production to India, which has made a big impact on the country’s export statistics, according to the Business Standard.Plus, as far back as 2019, Apple announced plans to invest up to $1 billion in India as the tech giant prepared to start exporting “Made in India” iPhones globally.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.