Tata starts iPhone manufacturing in Bengaluru, seeks to acquire Wistron factory: Report


India’s salt-to-software conglomerate Tata group has joined the elite club of iPhone makers, as it has started manufacturing the premium Apple gadget at a facility located close to Bengaluru, a report said on May 16.

The production of iPhone has been initiated by the company at the factory of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wistron in Narasapura, located on the outskirts of Bengaluru, the Times of India reported. Tata has sought to acquire the factory from Wistron, the report added, citing multiple sources.

“The Tatas are already manufacturing the iPhone at Wistron facility. Their representatives and officials have started getting involved in the operations, HR, and administration. They are getting trained on the operations and processes,” persons privy to the development told the newspaper.

The sources were further reported as saying that Wistron has “decided to fully exit the Apple operations”, and will focus on other non-Apple products in India.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the developments.

The report comes weeks after Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook held a meeting with N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata group holding entity Tata Sons, during his visit to India.

The meeting came at a time when Apple is betting on India to become a key manufacturing hub in order to diversify its manufacturing capabilities beyond China. The company, so far, relied on contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron for the local production of iPhone units.

Apple clocked iPhone exports of about $5 billion-$5.5 billion from India in FY23, accounting for nearly half of the country’s mobile phone exports, according to estimates from industry sources.

The Cupertino tech giant captured 25 percent of ‘Made in India’ smartphone shipments in terms of value in 2022, as compared to 12 percent in 2021, as per a Counterpoint Research report.

Apple’s partners Foxconn and Wistron were the fastest growing manufacturers among the top 10 in Q4 2022, fuelled by increasing exports from Apple, the report added.

Apple is also currently the leader in India’s premium smartphone market (above Rs 30,000) and the country’s smartphone market in terms of shipment value in Q4 2022, Counterpoint Research had mentioned in a separate report. It clocked record shipments of over 6.5 million in 2022, registering a 16 percent growth YoY, the firm noted. The company’s overall market share in India’s smartphone market is, however, still around 5 percent.


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