Apple expands manufacturing capability in India

The strategic move will not only bring down its import cost but will also help it sl slash escalating labor costs in China.

In a move that signals an expansion of Apple’s iPhone assembly line in India, Wistron Corp, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer which is part of Apple Inc, has won approval from India’s Karnataka government to build a new assembly facility in the southern Indian state.

As per government documents, the Karnataka state government has approved Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India Pvt Ltd’s application for 43 acres of land, located at around 40 miles from Bengaluru, one of India’s tech hub.

According to these documents, Wistron will now invest $105 million (6.8 billion Indian rupees) to develop the property in order to manufacture bio-tech devices, smartphones, other internet of things (IOT) products as well as create around 6,000 jobs.

“When discussions started, their (Wistron’s) requirement was 50-100 acres,” said a senior government source who spoke on the condition of anonymity since the discussions were not meant for public consumption.“But we were not immediately able to provide all the land.”

This expansion of manufacturing facility is essentially aimed at widening Apple’s iPhone assembly line in India and slash costs since Cupertino pays hefty duties on devices that it imports into the country.

Analysts see India, one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets, as key to Apple’s ambitions for a bigger global market share, especially since the sales of its smartphones have slowed down considerably in more mature markets.

Currently, Wistron’s ICT Service Management Solutions unit assembles Apple’s low-cost iPhone SE model in Bengaluru. Further, Wistron also does contract manufacturing jobs for a wide range of other electronics brands.

Wistron nor Apple, immediately respond to requests for comment.

California-based Apple has signaled a long-term commitment to Wistron’s Indian operations. Earlier this month in a report on supplier responsibility progress the tech giant said it provides waste management training as well as women’s health programs at its existing plant in Bengaluru.

($1 = 64.9525 Indian rupees)


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