"We have an understanding with Apple and we expect them to start manufacturing in Karnataka by the end of April," information technology and biotechnology minister Priyank Kharge was quoted as saying.
The factory will join China's Foxconn plant in assembly of the Cupertino giant's flagship product. It will likely open with a heavy workload, as Apple shipped roughly 78 million iPhones in the last quarter alone. Those handsets accounted for $54bn in revenues.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple accounted for 17.8 per cent of the total smartphone sales load over the 2016 holiday shopping season. Apple says those numbers could have been even higher, as they underestimated demand and were not able to get enough handsets out to customers.
The announcement will not be welcome news for a Trump administration that had named Apple among the companies it would push to bring its manufacturing operations back to the US.
Apple had reportedly made some moves back to the US, with server assembly operations in Arizona and reports that Foxconn would be moving at least one factory to the US.
It does appear, however, that at least for the time being Apple will be keeping its manufacturing operations overseas. ®