The Tata Group has reportedly completed its takeover of Apple supplier Wistron India, bringing the Indian tech conglomerate one step closer to becoming the first Indian firm to assemble Apple’s iPhone models in the country. Takeover discussions began a year ago, and Tata already supplies components for the Cupertino company’s smartphones in Tamil Nadu. However, the acquisition of Wistron’s production lines in India will allow the company to assemble iPhone models like Foxconn and Pegatron, two of Apple’s suppliers that assemble the phones in India.
The Economic Times reports that the Tata Group has signed a binding share purchase agreement to acquire 100 percent equity stake in Wistron India. The deal to acquire the Indian unit from Singapore-based SMS Infocomm and Wistron Hong Kong, is worth a total of $750 million (roughly Rs. 6,250 crore), according to the report, and Tata will pay $125 million (roughly Rs. 1,040 crore) to acquire Wistron’s assembly lines in India.
While the Tata Group was already producing some components for Apple in India at its plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, the Wistron India acquisition allows it to become a full-fledged iPhone assembler. Apple has other suppliers in India like Foxconn and Pegatron that assemble the iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and other recent models, but Tata will be the first Indian firm to manufacture the handsets in the country.
Earlier this month, TF Securities International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple would lower its production scale in two regions in China considerably next year. Meanwhile, the percentage of iPhone units made in India that are shipped globally is expected to rise from 14 percent to between 20 to 25 percent by 2024.
Kuo also claims that the development of the iPhone 17 — the successor to the purported iPhone 16 that is likely to launch in 2024 — is set to happen outside China for the first time. Apple will start the new product introduction (NPI) process for the iPhone 17 in India, during the second half of 2024, according to Kuo. Based on its annual release cycle, Apple’s iPhone 16 and iPhone 17 series are expected to be released in 2024 and 2025, respectively.