Tata Group is set to acquire an iPhone plant from Wistron, a Taiwan company, to give India its first homegrown iPhone maker. Tata group was reportedly in talks with Wistron for months, and the deal is expected to close by the end of March 2023.
The two firms discussed all possible tie-ups, but talks are now centred on Tata taking the majority of a joint venture. People further added that Tata is all set to take over the main manufacturing operations with support from Wistron. It is also reported that Tata initiated talks with Wistron in December.
Taiwan manufacturing giants like Wistron and Foxconn Technology Group are the main leader in iPhone assembly. This deal will advance India’s steps to create local competitors to challenge China’s dominance in electronics.
China is facing challenges in maintaining its importance in the market because of US-China tensions and Covid-related hindrances.
According to the sources, Tata aims to complete the process by March 31 so that Tata’s electronics formally start taking over the Wistron role in Government Program that gives benefits to industries to set up plants in India.
The next cycle of the incentives by the Government of India is set to start from April 1 for the 2023-24 Financial Year. The iPhone manufacturing business of Wistrton in India would evaluate at $600 million if the company fulfils all the set requirements of receiving incentives from the Government in the current financial year.
In 2020, Wistron also agreed to sell its iPhone Production plant in China to a competitor. On the one hand, Wistron is all set to exit their iPhone manufacturing in India as well, and on the other hand, Taiwan-based company in this sector, including Pegatron Group and Foxconn, are expanding their businesses.
Apple is also moving ahead to reduce its dependency on China for the production of the iPhone, so this deal is also important to decrease the obstruction in the supply chain after the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the restrictions imposed on China during the pandemic have also created problems for many companies to establish their plants in the country, including Apple.
The manufacturing plant which Tata is eyeing is located 50 KMs east of Bengaluru. The plant is of an area of 2.2 million square with 10,000 workers and thousands of engineers working there. Even after the deal, Wistron will continue to provide iPhone services in India.
In recent times, Tata has taken many steps to increase their business with Apple. Tata owns a factory in Hosur, located close to Bengaluru, where iPhone components are manufactured. In the first quarter of 2023, 100 Apple stores will be opened in association with the Tata group, the first store is set to open in Mumbai.