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Apple plans to make iPhones in Bengaluru, says Karnataka’s Minister of State for IT Priyank Kharge

Priyank Kharge, Karnataka's Minister of State for IT informed about Apple's plans to start manufacturing IPhones in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, Feb 3, 2017: Apple plans to make its iPhones in Bengaluru, said Karnataka’s Minister of State for IT Priyank Kharge on Thursday.

“An Apple team discussed with us its proposal to set up a plant in Bengaluru to make iPhones for the Indian and global markets,” said Kharge in a statement here.

An Apple team, led by iPhone Operations Vice-President Priya Balasubramaniam, Government Affairs Head Ali Khanafer, iPhone Operations Director Dheeraj Chugh and Country Counsel Priyesh Povanna discussed the proposals with the state officials in the presence of the minister.

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“We welcome Apple’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in Karnataka. Its intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster the cutting-edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally,” said Kharge.

“Apple’s decision to make iPhones in Bengaluru has enhanced the city’s reputation as the most preferred destination for foreign investment and validation of our policies to foster manufacturing, innovation and investments in the state,” he said.

The Silicon Valley-based global firm has been eyeing the India for a greater pie of its growing smartphones market, in which it sold 2.5 million iPhones as against a whopping 29 million by its Korean rival Samsung.

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Apple ships iPhones to India from Foxconn Technology firm in China and sells them through distributors and retailers, besides iStore and Imagine stores.

Though the central government has told Apple that it would have to source 30 per cent of its components from Indian suppliers, Apple is seeking a 15-year tax holiday on import of components and equipment.

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With many states wooing Apple for its Indian plant in their cities, the iPhones maker has been exploring a best deal, including tax reliefs and exemptions from local sourcing. (IANS)

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Apple’s Head Of Search and Head of Siri’s Advanced Development quits Amidst Siri Reshuffle

According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures

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According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures. Pixabay

Apple’s Head of Search Vipul Ved Prakash and Tom Gruber, Head of Siri’s Advanced Development Group, have quit the company which is currently reshuffling its Siri team.

According to a report in The Information on Thursday, Apple has confirmed both the departures.

One of the original Siri co-founders, Gruber “will be pursuing personal interests in photography and ocean conservation”.

Prakash joined Apple in 2013 after Apple acquired the search engine and analytics firm Topsy where he served as a CEO.

“The deal was valued at upwards of $224 million. Apple shut down Topsy two years after its acquisition,” reports 9to5mac.com.

Revealing its future plans, Apple last week formally announced to make ex-Google executive John Giannandrea its Chief of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

Apple's
Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems. Flickr

Reporting to CEO Tim Cook, Giannandrea who joined Apple in April will be in charge of Apple’s ML division, Siri and the Core ML team.

Giannandrea will look after further development of Core ML and Siri technologies.

According to media reports, Apple lags behind from Google and Amazon in key AI areas like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision needed to power voice assistant features in Siri.

Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems.

Also Read-Apple Gets a New AI Chief to Oversee Siri, Machine Learning

In 2017, Apple added an AI chip called Neural Engine to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X to work with the Image Signal Processor (ISP). (IANS)