NEW DELHI: Tata Group is in talks with a Taiwanese supplier of Apple to set up a joint venture for electronics manufacturing in India, seeking to assemble iPhones in the South Asian country.
Discussions with Wistron they aim to make Tatas a force in technology manufacturing, and the Indian salt to software conglomerate wants to leverage the Taiwanese company’s experience in product development, supply chain and assembly, experts know. If successful, the pact could make Tatas the first Indian company to build iPhones, which are currently mainly assembled by Taiwanese manufacturing giants such as Wistron and Foxconn Technology Group in China and India.

New plant

An Indian company that produces iPhones would represent a huge boost for the country’s effort to challenge China, whose dominance in electronics manufacturing has been jeopardized by the Covid blockades and political tensions with the United States. It could also persuade other global electronics brands to consider assembly in India to reduce their reliance on China at a time of growing geopolitical risks.
The structure of the deal and details such as holdings have yet to be finalized and talks are ongoing, people said, refusing to be named as the conversations are private. The plan could involve Tatas buying shares in Wistron’s India operations or the companies could build a new assembly plant, one of the people said. They could also perform both moves, the person said.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Apple was aware of the talks, which come at a time when the US tech giant is looking to further diversify manufacturing away from China and deepen its supply chain in India. Apple is known for working with local companies in regions where it has established manufacturing bases, but iPhone assembly is a complicated task that involves adhering to tight deadlines and the US company’s quality controls.
A Wistron representative declined to comment. Tatas and Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

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