If the acquisition goes ahead, it would mark the first time an Indian company has acquired an iPhone manufacturing facility.
Tata group is said to be negotiating a take over a factory, located in Karnataka state, run by Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer Wistron, according to Bloomberg. The manufacturing facility employs over 10,000 workers who assemble the latest iPhone 14 model.
The Tata Group’s deal could aid Apple’s attempts to diversify away from China and help the company recover from the disruption to its supply chain caused by China’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Apple’s dependency on China was demonstrated when its primary iPhone supplier Foxconn, was forced to halt operations at its plant in Zhengzhou during the 2022 COVID pandemic.
The US tech giant opened its first Indian Apple store in Mumbai on 18th April, 2023, followed by a second store in New Delhi on the 20th April, 2023.
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Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi set up state-backed programmes with financial incentives to expand production, India has made great progress in its domestic manufacturing. Modi’s government initiative has seen the promise of other big tech firms open factories, including Elon Musk’s automotive and energy company Tesla.
The news of Tata Group’s takeover comes in the wake of Foxconn pulling out of a $19.5bn joint project with Indian firm Vedanta to buy up chips manufacturing facilities in India’s state Gujarat.
The news is a blow to Modi’s attempts to grow India’s chip manufacturing capacity.
Meanwhile, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Group’s parent company Tata Sons, has pushed to focus the Group’s efforts on tech by introducing e-commerce initiatives. In 2022, Chandrasekaran said that the conglomerate is set to enter semiconductor manufacturing.