The text reading “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China” on the back of an iPhone is pretty common knowledge at this point. But, did you know that India has been assembling iPhones as well since the iPhone SE? And, did you know that a Tata Group subsidiary will now be doing the iPhone assembly? Let’s discuss more!
Tata Electronics to make iPhones in India:
iPhone Assembly Shenanigans
In the recent decade, China has been a manufacturing hub of the world. They manufacture a wide range of products from the cheap stuff that you regret buying on the Internet. To the high-quality goodies such as the iPhone itself. So, why China? Well, because they have raw materials and labour in abundance at a very low cost. Thus, manufacturing goods in China has been the way to go for many companies. And Apple was no different. Therefore, Apple outsourced companies such as Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron for its manufacturing duties.
These companies were based in China, however, with the rise of India on the global scene, these companies established their plants in India as well. The “Made in India” campaign of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped further propel this growth. All this resulted in the beloved iPhones being assembled in India as well, albeit by foreign companies. As of now, Apple plans to shift 25% of its iPhone production to India by 2025. This is because they want to diversify their supply chain, especially, after the hindrances it faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Tata enters the chat
As mentioned earlier, iPhones were assembled in India, but not through an Indian-born company. However, all that has changed now!
Tata Group has finally acquired the Indian division of Wistron’s iPhone assembly line for a whopping $125 million with a $550 million inter-corporate loan to parent company Wistron India.
Yes! That’s quite a hefty sum, but no big deal for Tata Group — India’s largest business conglomerate. To put things into perspective, Tata Group made USD 150 billion in revenue in the fiscal year 2022–23 alone! Moreover, they employ over a million individuals and have 29 publicly listed enterprises with USD 300 billion market capitalisation.
The assembly of iPhones will fall under the Tata Electronics wing of Tata Group. The $125 million deal includes a 44-acre Wistron facility with eight production lines in Kolar district near Bengaluru that handled assembly of iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 devices.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an APPLE analyst, also suggests that Tata Electronics, along with Foxconn and Pegatron will start the manufacturing process of the iPhone 17 (due a 2025 launch) as soon as in the second half of 2024.
In conclusion, this marks a historical moment for India altogether. It is an instance where an iPhone is fully assembled in India BY an Indian company. Furthermore, this could also turn out to be free marketing for the fifth-largest economy in the world. Since, the trendsetter Apple entrusts an Indian company with the assembly of its best-selling device, other big companies may also turn their heads to India.
PM @narendramodi Ji's visionary PLI scheme has already propelled India into becoming a trusted & major hub for smartphone manufacturing and exports.
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) October 27, 2023
Given the gravitas of the whole situation, Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar — India’s Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology — took some time to express his excitement on X.
- Meanwhile, check out our full review of the iPhone 15