India’s Tata Group seeks joint venture to help make iPhones for Apple
A new report from India says that Tata Group is in talks with Apple supplier Wistron over a possible joint venture that could see it help build iPhones in the country.
According to information today discussions are focused on making Tata “a force in technology manufacturing”, the group is India’s largest conglomerate and was founded in 1868.
As reported by India’s Business Standard (opens in new tab), Tata “wants to tap the Taiwanese company’s expertise in product development, supply chain, and assembly” as it seeks to become the first Indian company to make iPhones alongside Taiwan’s Foxconn and Wistron and other partners.
Onshoring in India
The report notes that an Indian company making iPhones “would be a massive boost for the country’s effort to challenge China” and could also persuade other electronic brands to onshore manufacturing in the country.
Apple has invested heavily in making some of its best iPhones in recent years in India, driven largely by very generous government subsidies. The report says that details of the deal are still to be finalized, but could involve Tata buying a stake in Wistron’s India operations, building a new assembly plant, or both.
Strangely the report says it’s not clear at this stage whether Apple is aware of the talks, but notes Apple has made great efforts to diversify its supply chain toward India, after its heavy reliance on China and East Asia was laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to today’s report, the new venture would seek to increase the number of iPhones assembled by up to five times Wistron’s current capacity.
The company this week has announced two brand new iPhones, the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, as well as new Apple Watch models in the SE, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra. Apple also unveiled its new AirPods Pro featuring an upgraded audio chip and an improved case.