Tata Group, the largest conglomerate in India, is nearing an agreement to purchase a factory in Karnataka from an Apple supplier as soon as next month.
This move would mark the first time a local company enters the assembly of iPhones.
The acquisition of the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp's factory in Karnataka, which is estimated to be worth over $600 million, comes after approximately a year of negotiations.
The facility currently employs more than 10,000 workers who assemble the latest iPhone 14 model.
To secure state-backed financial incentives, Wistron has committed to shipping iPhones worth at least $1.8 billion from the factory during the fiscal year ending in March 2024.
Additionally, the company plans to triple the workforce at the plant by next year. Tata has agreed to honor these commitments as Wistron exits the iPhone business in India, reports Bloomberg.
The addition of an iPhone manufactured in India is expected to boost Apple's efforts to expand its product base beyond China and establish technology manufacturing in the country.
Wistron, one of Apple's key suppliers, exported nearly $500 million worth of iPhones from India in the three months ending 30 June.
Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Corp, also Taiwanese suppliers for Apple, have also increased their production from India.
India has made significant progress in domestic manufacturing since Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented government programmes with attractive financial incentives to encourage production and employment.
Apple has been actively diversifying its operations away from China, especially in light of the Covid lockdowns and escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The establishment of an Indian company manufacturing iPhones could be a major boost for PM Modi's efforts to challenge China's position as the world's factory. This development may also encourage other global electronics brands to consider production in India as a means to reduce their dependence on China.
The Tata Group, a 155-year-old conglomerate, is involved in various industries ranging from salt to tech services.
In recent years, the group has been venturing into electronics production and e-commerce, which are relatively new territories for the Tata family.
Apple already manufactures the chassis for iPhones at its factory in Tamil Nadu, which spans hundreds of acres of land.
Further, Tata group Chairman N Chandrasekaran had earlier also expressed ambitions in the field of chipmaking.
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