Apple is to start making iPhones in India this year, a local government official said on Friday (3), as the company seeks to tap into a booming middle class while sales in China slow.

Karnataka’s IT minister said Apple had agreed to assemble its hugely popular phones in the southern state, whose capital Bangalore is India’s technology hub.

Apple, which has not commented on the minister’s statement, remains a relatively small player in India, where sales of its smartphones lag those of rival…