Tata Group will be Apple’s fourth iPhone contract manufacturer in India after the acquisition of Wistron Corp’s factory in Bengaluru, according to a TrendForce report.
The assembly orders by the cars-to-software conglomerate for various iPhone models is expected to be 5 per cent of total units in 2023. The company has reportedly received orders for the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models to be launched later this year.
After Luxshare, which joined iPhone 12 Pro Max assembly in 2020, Tata Group will be the fifth company (overall) to undertake iPhone assembly business in India. Among other players in the space are Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron.
Tata’s Wistron factory acquisition means that latter will exit the iPhone assembly business. Wistron’s 2.2 million square-foot factory is located 50 kilometres east of Bengaluru.
“Due to geopolitical and pandemic, Apple has been accelerating the diversification of its supply sources, with India being the most well-known case for such transfer,” noted TrendForce in its blog.
A forecast by Taiwan’s DigiTimes Research highlighted that India could be assembling up to 50 per cent of all iPhones by 2027, which would put the country’s production at par with that of China.
Apple has been ramping up its efforts in India lately. According to a Bloomberg report, the Cupertino-based company logged revenue of USD 6 billion from India as opposed to USD 4.1 billion in the year through March 2022.
While Apple’s growing emphasis on India becomes evident, company’s CEO Tim Cook was hesitant on comparing it with the Chinese market during Q2 FY23 earnings call. Currently, China is the source of roughly 85 per cent of all iPhones produced by the company.
India was in the spotlight during the company’s earnings call as Cook highlighted setting a quarterly record in the country, registering strong double-digit growth year-over-year (YoY).
“[..] India is an incredibly exciting market. It’s a major focus for us. I was just there, and the dynamism in the market, the vibrancy is unbelievable,” he said.
The iPhone-maker has increased its production of iPhones in India, accounting for as much as 7 per cent of its global iPhone production volume in 2022. This number was up from about 1 per cent in 2021. Moreover, Apple assembled over USD 7 billion worth of iPhones in India in 2022 alone.
A Couterpoint report mentioned that the shipment volumes of iPhones in India in 2022 grew 60 per cent year-on-year (YoY), while their value increased by 162 per cent. It also mentioned that Apple’s brand value share went up to 25 per cent in 2022, up from 12 per cent in 2021.