Tata Group will start making Apple iPhones in India for domestic and global markets within two and a half years, announced Electronics and Technology Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar today. The development underscores India’s growing production prowess and reflects a significant departure from Apple’s previous strategy of selling mostly Chinese-made new devices to frenzied customers across the world. With this, the group will become India’s first homegrown iPhone maker.
“@GoI_MeitY stands fully in support in growth of Global Indian Electronics companies that will in turn support global Electronic brands that want to make India their trusted manufacturing and talent partner and to realize PM’s goal of making India a global electronics power,” Mr Chandrasekhar posted on X, formerly Twitter.
PM @narendramodi Ji's visionary PLI scheme has already propelled India into becoming a trusted & major hub for smartphone manufacturing and exports.— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) October 27, 2023
Now within just two and a half years, @TataCompanies will now start making iPhones from India for domestic and global markets from… pic.twitter.com/kLryhY7pvL
The group has acquired the operations of Apple supplier Wistron Corp which announced the development in a board meeting today for about $125 million, according to a company statement. The Union Minister also thanked Wistron for “building a global supply chain from India with Indian companies at its helm”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s financial incentives to boost local manufacturing and Apple’s strategy to look beyond China amid a Washington-Beijing trade war have helped India become increasingly important to the iPhone maker’s diversification drive.
“PM Modi Ji’s visionary PLI scheme has already propelled India into becoming a trusted and major hub for smartphone manufacturing and exports,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.
The PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme – which aims at boosting domestic manufacturing, creating jobs and supporting exports – was announced in 2021 for 14 sectors, including large-scale electronic manufacturing, white goods, textiles, manufacturing of medical devices, automobiles, specialty steel, food products, high-efficiency solar PV modules, advanced chemistry cell battery, drones and pharmaceuticals with an outlay of ₹ 1.97 lakh crore.
Earlier this year, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that Apple exported $5 billion (roughly ₹ 41,200 crore) worth of goods from India in 2022, while stating that the company plans to produce 25 per cent of global units in the country within the next four to five years.
The takeover of the Wistron Corp factory in Karnataka by India’s largest conglomerate has capped about a year of negotiations.
The 150-year-old group – which sells everything from salt to tech services – sought to make inroads into electronics production and e-commerce over the past few years.
The company already makes iPhone chassis, or the metal backbone of the device, at its factory spread over hundreds of acres of land in Tamil Nadu.