Feb 1: Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp is expected to establish a firm in India soon for assembling the iPhone SE. Hints suggest that Wistron is close to finalizing a land deal in Bengaluru. It is being reported that the comoany would most likely invest an amount of $157 million in the facility. However, both Apple and Wistron have not commented on the reports. At present the Apple supplier assembles iPhone SE in its Bengaluru plant.
Wistron’s ICT Service Management Solutions, which assembles Apple’s low-cost iPhone SE in India, has been on the lookout for land of around 100 acres near Bengaluru for a while. Global executives of the company and its chief official in India had met with the industries minister of Karnataka earlier this month which signaled speeding up of a land deal.
It has been reported that the company’s move would be to cut costs and diversify and extend its production base beyond Greater China. The Federal approval that ICT recently gained for importing machinery from China into India, which can be used to set up new assembly lines for iPhones, further substantiates the assumption of reports.
The iPhone 6s model, which was launched more than two years ago, continue to be in demand in emerging markets like India as they are cheaper when compared to Apple’s newer iPhone 8 and iPhone X devices. A local assembly could save import taxes, keep price of phones cheaper and potentially widen its customer base in India.
As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative India had raised import taxes on products like mobile phones, TVs forcing Apple to hike prices for most iPhone models. The government’s move is to encourage local manufacturing and creating jobs for millions. The local assembly and manufacturing will help Apple bring down its labour charges in China, where its biggest contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, widely known as Foxconn, makes a bulk of iPhones and iPads.