First Indian-owned iPhone plant is just around the corner as Apple diversifies its supply chain

iPhone 14 Pro Max Deep Purple and iPhone 14 Pro Space Black
(Image credit: Future)

Indian outfit Tata is reportedly getting ready to take over an iPhone manufacturing plant — making it the first Indian-owned plant of its kind.

The plant is currently owned by Taiwanese company Wistron, with the pair said to be working on getting a deal over the line before the end of March. It's thought that Tata is now in line to take over the majority share of a joint venture between the two companies. It'll also oversee manufacturing.

An Indian first

Bloomberg reports that the reason Tata wants to take over the plant before the end of March is simple — it's when a chunk of money is set to be handed out.

"The Indian conglomerate aims to complete a due diligence process by March 31 so that its Tata Electronics arm can formally take over Wistron's position in a program that gives it government incentives," Bloomberg notes. "The next cycle of incentives will begin from April 1, which marks the start of India's financial year."

The news comes as Apple further diversifies its iPhone supply chain to reduce its reliance on Chinese and Taiwanese companies and labor. Apple's iPhone supplies have been hit thanks to ongoing COVID-19 concerns in China recently, with one Foxconn factory also experiencing worker riots. Things got so bad at the Zhengzhou plant that Apple had to get involved. It didn't help that the plant is the only one on the planet that assembles Apple's best iPhone — the iPhone 14 Pro.

While it isn't immediately clear what impact Tata's ownership of this southern Indian plant will have on Apple, it is far from the only one in the country. Wistron is just one of three Taiwanese iPhone manufacturers currently operating in India — Pegatron and Foxconn are the others. This factory is thought to employ as many as 10,000 workers across eight iPhone production lines.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.