TATA group is in talks to buy iPhone maker Wistron’s facility in Karnataka for up to Rs. 5000 crores. Wistron is one of the three manufacturers of tech giant Apple in India and its only plant is in Narasapura wherein it manufactures devices and components for Apple. If the buyout didn’t work out, TATA would try to strike a deal to enter into a joint venture with Taiwan-based Wistron, the Economic Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.
After Apple’s years of efforts to add India to its iPhone-producing countries, Wistron Corp Wistron began manufacturing in 2017. The Taipei-based company currently assembles iPhones at its southern Indian plant. Currently, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron are the three leading vendors for Apple in India, producing the iPhone SE, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14 (basic) models.
In September, Bloomberg reported that TATA is trying to strike a deal with Wistron to establish a joint venture to assemble Apple’s iPhones in India. Tata Electronic Pvt Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons that is attempting to become a scaled smartphone and component contract manufacturer. TEPL is already a components vendor for iPhones. The existing exclusive partnership with Apple is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India push and takes advantage of the government’s production-linked scheme, unveiled in August 2020.
A JP Morgan report says, Apple plans to shift 25% of its iPhone production to India by 2025 in a bid to diversify its manufacturing base that presently depends heavily on China. 5% of the global iPhone 14 production would be in India by the end of 2022, the report adds.
Currently, tech giant Apple could see a production shortfall of around six million iPhone Pro models this year. The news comes amid the ongoing unrest at a Foxconn plant in China’s Zhengzhou city as workers protested against the delay in bonuses, food shortages, and poor living conditions caused by the stringent Covid restrictions in the country.
Several workers have fled the Foxconn factory that host as many as 200,000 employees amid the unrest. Foxconn has started new hires with the help of the government and is attracting old employees to come back by offering them lucrative bonuses.