India’s Tata Group will soon start assembling Apple iPhones in India after Wistron Corp, an electronics manufacturer based in Taiwan, approved the sale of its Indian manufacturing unit to the Mumbai-headquartered multinational conglomerate.
A subsidiary of Tata is now expected to make iPhones in India for both domestic and global markets.
Reuters reports that the Wistron board approved the sale of Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing India Private Limited to Tata Electronics Private Limited for an estimated US$125 million.
Apple began iPhone assembly in the country with Wistron in 2017, before expanding through contracts with other firms. The entry into India was seen as part of Apple’s aim to move some production away from China and into a market it sees as a potential driver of growth. Indeed, key Apple suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron have also laid out plans to expand operations in India, possibly tempted by Indian incentives to build a local manufacturing industry.
Wistron has had its ups and downs in India. The Wistron plant in Karnataka saw a worker rampage in late 2020 due to wage-related issues. The trouble apparently caused millions of dollars in losses.
The company then sacked its vice president overseeing its business in India, admitting that some workers had not been paid correctly or on time, and offered an apology. Operations resumed in March 2021 after the state government intervened.