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Apple / Foxconn Close To India Breakthrough With Local Manufacturing Deal

According to the Economic Times of India, Apple's biggest iPhone contractor has reached agreement with the Indian Government to setup a manufacturing plant in the Maharashta province churning out iPhones for the local and international markets.
This would be a game changing development for Apple, with India's one billion consumers crying out for access to more affordable iPhones thanks to the country's strict import tax regime and the Make In India movement, both of which ensure that the iPhone remains a luxury item for all but super rich.
With smartphone sales - and iPhone sales in particular - stagnating or even reversing, opening up a market of this size creates an opportunity for Apple to grow sales based entirely on geography. It also reduces the company's reliance on China for manufacturing, something that may prove important should the US Election later this year produce a result which could upset the delicate Sino-US relationship and make single sourcing from that country a risk to Apple.
Together with this development, we also recently learnt that Apple has received the go ahead to open a chain of retail stores in India. Given the importance of the support network these stores provide this all but confirms a big iPhone push into India.
The iPhone might not be the only product to benefit though. The iPad looks like a very compelling device for consumers who haven't previously owned a computer before. Without historical usage of the Windows or OS X back catalogue there's no reason why Indian customers wouldn't see the iPad as being big enough, powerful enough and well supported enough to become the sub-continent's primary computing device.
Opening up India to sales could reverse the downward trend of Apple's two biggest sellers. More than enough reason to do whatever it takes to get Foxconn's manufacturing might landed in the country.