One of India's largest industrial conglomerates, Tata Group, is negotiating with Taiwan's Apple contractor, Wistron, to organize a joint assembly of iPhone in India. If the negotiations succeed, Tata will be the first Indian company to assemble iPhone in the country. So far, Taiwan's Wistron and Foxconn are dominant in this field, as well as in China.
The release of an iPhone on Indian power will enable India to gain additional competitive advantage in its economic competition with China, especially since China's technical superiority in electronics production is threatened by COVID-19 outbreaks and political tensions with the US.
Negotiations are ongoing, details of a possible deal are not yet known. As part of the Tata agreement, either Wistron assets may be acquired, or companies may build a new assembly plant. It may be both. As yet, there is no data on whether the Apple negotiations are known, according to Bloomberg, the American Vendor is also looking for ways to distance itself from China and build stronger production chains in India. Although Apple often cooperates with local companies in producing regions, Apple usually requires adherence to hardlines and quality standards.
According to Bloomberg sources, it is expected that the new enterprise will allow five more iPhone assemblies in India compared to what Wistron is capable of in the country now. It is not ruled out that Tata will also receive a share in Wistron businesses that are not linked to the production of smartphones. A company whose annual income is usually more than $100 billion specializes in steel, automobiles, and software production, but also looks rather favourably at the electronics market. The company is already producing some components for iPhone shells in southern India.
For the Wistron, whose business in India is still lost, the agreement with the powerful Tata can provide a strong position and additional investment on the local market. The Taiwan company began collecting an iPhone in India as early as 2017, after several years of Apple's efforts to produce in that country.
The huge Indian market and government initiatives to stimulate high-tech production have attracted interest in India and other contract producers working on Apple, Foxconn and Pegatron. However, local production has not been easily adapted to the harsh conditions of production imposed by Apple since the iPhone assembly began in India five years ago, and Indian workers have been on strike because of low wages and poor working conditions.