Tata Group’s facility is expected to house approximately 20 assembly lines and aims to create job opportunities for around 50,000 workers within the next two years
Tata Group has been a part of iPhone assembly as it manufactures the metal body at its Tamil Nadu plant and it aims to enter the entire assembly business
Apple started ramping up production in India in 2021 amid disruptions in its supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic restriction in China and rising tensions between Beijing and Washington
Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group is reportedly gearing up to build one of India’s largest iPhone assembly plants in Tamil Nadu’s Hosur, tapping Apple Inc’s aim to broaden its manufacturing presence in the country.
The facility is expected to house approximately 20 assembly lines and aims to create job opportunities for around 50,000 workers within the next two years, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the matter.
They also added that the site is anticipated to become operational within the next 12-18 months.
The report further said that the upcoming plant will strengthen Apple’s commitment to localising its supply chain and fostering closer collaboration with Tata.
Currently, the Indian conglomerate manages an iPhone manufacturing unit acquired from Wistron Corp. in Karnataka. Tata Group successfully acquired Wistron’s manufacturing facility in Karnataka in October, signalling its entry into the assembly of Apple iPhones.
This shift in the manufacturing base aligns with Apple’s broader strategy to diversify operations beyond China by cultivating partnerships across India, Thailand, Malaysia and other regions.
Tata has actively engaged in its partnership with the Silicon Valley giant, expanding its operations beyond traditional sectors, ranging from salt to software, as highlighted in the report.
The group has increased employment at its existing Hosur facility, focusing on the production of iPhone enclosures. Additionally, there are plans to introduce 100 retail outlets exclusively dedicated to Apple products. Concurrently, Apple has taken steps to establish two stores in India, with plans for three more in the pipeline.
Tata Group has been a part of iPhone assembly as it manufactures the metal body at its Tamil Nadu plant and it aims to enter the entire assembly business.
Earlier in May, it was reported that Wistron was planning to wind up its business in India and sell its Bengaluru plant to the Tata Group.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s production-linked incentives (PLIs) have incentivised key suppliers of Apple, such as Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron Corp, to expand their presence in India.
This surge surpassed $7 Bn in the previous fiscal year, accounting for about 7% of the global production share of the device.
The forthcoming plant is expected to be a mid-sized facility among Apple’s global iPhone manufacturing centres. While it is projected to surpass the scale of Tata’s acquired Wistron plant, which employs over 10,000 individuals, it will still be smaller than Foxconn’s substantial manufacturing hubs in China, each employing hundreds of thousands.
The development comes at a time when Apple is rapidly ramping up manufacturing in India amid geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington. India now accounts for about 7% of total iPhones produced globally.
Apple started ramping up production in India in 2021 amid disruptions in its supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic restriction in China and rising tensions between Beijing and Washington.
In India, Apple’s vendor ecosystem has witnessed several developments.
In December, Foxconn said its India arm Bharat FIH will invest INR 400 Cr ($48 Mn) in the company’s wholly-owned India subsidiary Rising Stars Hi-Tech. Earlier, Foxconn said it would invest more than $1.5 Bn in India to meet the operational needs.
In October, Tata Group bought an iPhone manufacturing unit of the Taiwanese firm Wistron for $125 Mn. Tata acquired the Karnataka plant of Wistron, which employs about 10,000 people, to assemble the iPhone 14. The salt-to-software conglomerate wants to expand its Tamil Nadu unit’s production capacity.