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Tata Group has officially received the sale approval of Wistron Corp’s iPhone manufacturing unit in India. With this, India’s largest conglomerate is now preparing to start its iPhone assembling business in the country, making it India’s first local iPhone assembler.
The news was shared by India’s Deputy Minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar (via Reuters) on Friday, saying the units that will be produced will be sold in domestic and global markets. The site, Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing India Private Limited, was reportedly sold to Tata Electronics Private Limited for $125 million.
Despite the acquisition, another report in July claimed that the Wistron factory would continuously ship iPhones worth at least $1.8 billion until March 2024. Tata will reportedly honor this commitment alongside plans to triple the workforce population next year.
Tata’s decision to buy the manufacturing site supports Apple’s objective to mold India as one of its most important iPhone manufacturing locations. This should help the Cupertino giant to gradually decrease its reliance on China, which recently tried to forbid government officials from using iPhones due to alleged security reasons.
According to previous reports, India currently produces 7% of iPhones globally, but Apple is reportedly planning to bump up the number to up to 18% in the next two years or by 2025. This will start with the iPhone 15, and Tata is reportedly expected to cover 5% of iPhone productions globally in the future. More recently, an anonymous Indian government official revealed Apple’s plan to boost India’s iPhone production to over $40 billion in the next four to five years.
Following Apple’s growing interest in India, the company’s top representatives met Indian Finance Ministry officials in August to discuss the future of the business in the country. No specific details were shared, but it was revealed that one of the key points in the discussion pointed to “how India’s policies could be aligned to support this initiative” involving iPhone manufacturing. Unsurprisingly, the government is reportedly in “a positive cooperation” about the idea of boosting the manufacturing of smartphones in the country.