Come April, Apple Supplier Wistron Will Begin Assembling Key iPhone Component At Its New Bengaluru Plant  

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 4, 2020 01:10 PM +05:30 IST
Come April, Apple Supplier Wistron Will Begin Assembling Key iPhone Component  At Its New Bengaluru Plant  iPhone XR which is being manufactured in India (Pic via Twitter)

In a move reflecting Apple’s plans to expand manufacturing in the world’s second largest smartphone market. Wistron's new plant in India will begin assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones, Reuters reported.

Beginning this April, Wistron Corp will assemble PCBs for iPhones at its new plant near Bengaluru.

A PCB is a key ‌iPhone‌ component like processor, storage, and memory, and usually accounts for about half the cost of a smartphone.

The move, first for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer, will help save Apple the need to pay import taxes on the vital smartphone component.

On Saturday (1 February), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Union Budget that the government will be taxing imports of populated PCBs at 20 per cent beginning April, up from the previous rate of 10 per cent.

India has been attempting to build a robust domestic manufacturing sector in smartphones through a calibrated multiyear programme under which tariffs are introduced gradually on smartphone components, beginning with basic accessories such as chargers in 2016 and working up to touch panels.

Wistron is already making Apple’s low-priced iPhone SE model since 2017 in its Bengaluru unit. It currently assembles the iPhone 6S and 7 models there as well.

Wistron’s second iPhone plant in Bengaluru will make iPhone 7 and 8 models, some of which will be exported.

Wistron's rival, Foxconn, which began making iPhone XR models in India last year, already assembles PCBs locally. India however continues to be dependent on China for supplies of other smartphone parts like display panels and camera modules. In 2018, Samsung opened the world's largest mobile factory, in Noida, India.

India recently ousted Vietnam to become the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones globally following China in 2018 with a world share of 11 per cent.

It is estimated that India could manufacture around 1.25 billion handsets across various segments by 2025, firing up an industry worth around $230 billion.

Between 2013 and 2017, while India’s import of telecom handsets declined from $4.47 billion to $3.31 billion, the telecom part import cost increased steadily from $1.34 billion to $9.41 billion. At the same time exports of telecom handset increased significantly during the last three years.

Also Read - Explained: How India Tripled Its Mobile Handset Exports In Just One Year, And Ambitious Plans For The Future

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