According to sources familiar with the matter, the Tata Group is closing in on an agreement to purchase a factory in Karnataka from an Apple supplier. This move could potentially make Tata the first Indian company to produce iPhones. The report, sourced from Bloomberg, reveals that the acquisition of the Wistron Corp. factory is expected to be finalized as early as August, with an estimated value exceeding $600 million. Currently, the factory houses over 10,000 employees who are involved in the assembly of Apple’s iPhone 14.
While Wistron is preparing to exit the business, Tata has ambitious plans to ship iPhones worth $1.8 billion from this location. Originally, it was Wistron’s intention to achieve this milestone in order to gain financial incentives from the Indian government.
This development coincides with the growing trend among U.S. tech companies to explore manufacturing opportunities outside of China. With the ongoing tensions between the United States and China, both administrations are imposing restrictions on each other’s tech companies and impeding the smooth transfer of advanced technology between the two nations.
Moreover, Apple’s suppliers have also been impacted by China’s stringent COVID-19 lockdown measures as part of its zero-COVID policy. In October 2022, for example, workers had to flee from Apple’s largest iPhone assembly factory in Zhengzhou due to a lockdown.
As of now, there has been no official statement regarding the acquisition from Apple, Tata, or Wistron.