Tata Electronics to become a key Apple player after Wistron’s iPhone plant acquisition

Wistron's factory in Karnataka, that employs about 12,000 people, constitutes a major chunk of its business in the country.

New Delhi: As Apple doubles down on local manufacturing in India, Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturer Wistron is reportedly winding up its operations in the country and Tata Electronics is set to take over Wistron’s Karnataka factory and manufacture new Apple products.

The move will only give a fillip to the government’s local manufacturing dream, at a time when iPhone exports from the country surged to cross $5 billion (over Rs 40,000 crore) in FY23.

Wistron’s factory in Karnataka, that employs about 12,000 people, constitutes a major chunk of its business in the country.

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According to a report in Hindu Business Line, Wistron will be winding down its operations and is “likely to approach the National Company Law Tribunal and the Registrar of Companies to dissolve its India operations within the next year.”

The 150-year-old Tata Group has taken several measures to step up its business with Apple in the recent past.

Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, told IANS that the ‘Make in India’ initiative is set to gain even more momentum with the emergence of homegrown majors, such as Tata Electronics, “and the possibility of concurrent production of the Apple iPhone 15 and beyond.”

“As we progress, these initial steps will undoubtedly bolster India’s semiconductor ecosystem and strengthen its position in the global electronics value chains,” Ram added.

According to the report, Wistron is also waiting for some subsidy payments under the smartphone production-linked (PLI) scheme, before it winds down its India operations.

In FY23, Apple shipped more than 7 million iPhones and half a million iPads in the country, registering a 28 percent growth for iPhone shipments, according to initial estimates provided by market intelligence firm CMR.

As Apple doubles down on domestic manufacturing in India, the tech giant is likely to garner 6 percent market share in FY23-34, with selling more than 8 million iPhones in the country in the period.

In such a scenario, Tata Group is hopeful of India becoming an electronics manufacturing hub after the conglomerate succeeded in its efforts to take over Wistron’s iPhone assembly plant, according to earlier reports.

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