In what can only be reminiscent of Apple’s move to diversify its supply chain from Foxconn in 2013 and divide it with USA-based Pegatron Corporation, the iPhone-maker has chosen Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron to start assembling iPhones in India.
According to reports and industry sources, Apple is in talks with Wistron to assemble iPhones in a new plant that is being setup in the industrial area of Peenya in Bengaluru and this might just mean that iPhones could get a little cheaper for Indians.
“Apple is in talks with Wistron to start assembly in Peenya. The company is expected to start assembly first and then scale up slowly to complete knock down manufacturing as the demand arises,” an industry source in the know of things, told HT.
However, he also said that assembly might not start in April next year but is more likely to start during the last quarter of 2017.
But what is interesting is Apple may have ditched Foxconn in India — which is its largest contract manufacturer in the world. Earlier, when Foxconn moved to India, it was believed that it would make Apple products in its upcoming facility in Maharashtra as it does in China in its Hon Hai Precision unit.
Interestingly, industry sources claim that the move to start local assembly might be directed more at attaining an exemption on the local sourcing norms and other financial incentives that Apple has been after. “Western might have been a option as the Karnataka state government might end up giving certain sops which helps Apple in some way,” an industry expert said. The iphone-maker has also sought several tax and duty incentives from the Indian government to set up shop here.
Interestingly, the government will take a final call on Apple’s demands next month.
Apple and Foxconn declined to comment.
However, the alliance with Wistron marks Apple second major investment in Bengaluru. In May, Apple announced a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community and also to guide Indian developers to leverage Apple’s programming language Swift and build apps for Apple TV and Apple Watch.The facility will open early next year.