Tata Group is likely to become India’s first indigenous iPhone manufacturer after Wistron Corp. agreed to sell a factory in the country’s south to the conglomerate.
With 55% and 46% market shares, respectively, Apple is the leading smartphone seller in the United States and Japan. In the first half of 2023, Apple had a 6% market share in India. It did, however, have a 63% market share in the super-premium smartphone class (priced between Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000).
Apple’s market share in India is likely to grow when the country’s top handsets, including the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, go on sale.
Wistron’s board of directors has authorized the sale of Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing (India) Private Ltd. to Tata for $125 million, the Taiwanese electronics maker said Friday. According to a source familiar with the situation, the business maintains an iPhone manufacturing factory near Bengaluru.
Tata, an airline-to-software conglomerate, has been in negotiations with Apple Inc. for more than a year about taking over the facility. The agreement strengthens India’s ambitions to develop domestic competitors to challenge China’s supremacy in electronics, which has been hampered by political difficulties with the United States.
Taiwanese manufacturing behemoths such as Pegatron Corp. and Foxconn Technology Group build the majority of Apple’s iPhones.
Wistron, along with Foxconn and Pegatron, is one of three Taiwanese iPhone producers in India. It has attempted to expand its company beyond low-margin iPhone manufacture into sectors including servers and has agreed to sell its Chinese iPhone production operation to a rival in 2020.
Wistron said that after the acquisition has been confirmed by both sides, the firms would seek regulatory clearances.
Tata has taken further measures to expand its relationship with Apple. It has increased recruiting at its Hosur, near Bengaluru, facility, where it manufactures iPhone components. This factory is located on several hundred acres of land where Tata may expand iPhone production lines in the future years. Tata has also announced the opening of 100 Apple outlets in the nation of 1.4 billion people.
The 150-year-old Tata Group manufactures everything from branded salt and Tetley Tea to steel and Jaguar vehicles, as well as operating a domestic airline and Starbucks cafés. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. is Asia’s biggest IT outsourcing firm and one of India’s most valuable companies in terms of market capitalization.