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iPhone Production in India May Scale Up as Tata Sons Targets Rs 7,000cr Tamil Nadu Phone Plant

News18
·2-min read

iPhone production in India is already underway, with Chinese manufacturing major Foxconn producing phones for Apple (including the iPhone 11) at its plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. However, most smartphone factories and facilities in India are still only able enough to work as assembly lines, which reduces India’s prospect in front of brands such as Apple that are looking for alternate manufacturing and component sourcing destinations beyond China. In a bid to answer this, and offer Apple a component manufacturing and sourcing hub in India, Tata Sons is reportedly seeking overseas loans worth close to $1 billion, or about Rs 7,000-8,000 crore – which will be invested in what has been described by reports as a “globally scalable” smartphone and component manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu.

While the latest report comes courtesy of reportage by ET Prime, a previous report by Hindu Business Line had suggested the same. The factory is being reportedly set up in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, and the state’s industrial development body has already allotted 500 acres to new Tata subsidiary, Tata Electronics, to set up the component manufacturing plant there. Tata Electronics will seemingly take expertise from fellow Tata organisation, Titan Engineering and Automation Ltd (TEAL) – which serves as the precision engineering arm behind Tata-owned watch and apparel brand, Titan.

ALSO READ | Apple iPhone SE Is Also Now Made In India, But Does That Mean Your Next iPhone Will Cost Any Lesser?

Reports suggest that both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were strong contenders for hosting Tata Electronics’ ambitious iPhone components factory, with the former eventually winning favour likely by virtue of other technology plants such as Foxconn, Samsung, Nokia, Dell and others also being present in the state. The Tamil Nadu government also has an ambitious electronics hardware manufacturing policy, where it envisions to contribute $100 billion annually, or 25 percent of India’s electronics exports, by 2025.

While Apple initially began assembling iPhones in India in 2017 with the older iPhone SE, it has since increased scope to also include the iPhone 11 now. Apple has also been urged by the Indian government to take advantage of its production linked incentive plans, which aims to incentivise foreign brands to shift to India as a manufacturing hub, thereby setting up an industry that has not quite taken off in India yet. Tata Sons is also likely taking advantage of the same, and aims to cash in on the incentives offered by the government, as well as giving Apple wider local manufacturing support in India for the first time.