Tata reportedly in talks with Pegatron for iPhone manufacturing partnership

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Tata is reportedly discussing forming a joint venture with Pegatron regarding a new iPhone manufacturing facility in southern India. Tata may be asking for technical support to ramp up production capacity to meet Apple's demands for global diversification.

Reuters quoted sources saying that Tata is in talks with Pegatron, a Taiwan-based iPhone assembler, for Tata's facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, and set up 20 lines for iPhone assembly. Sources said that Tata would seek Pegatron's support in technology and engineering as Tata cannot build everything from scratch.

Apple had three iPhone assemblers in India, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron, to expand production capacity, diversify its global supply chain, and reduce its reliance on China after the US-China trade war and the pandemic. Tata bought Wistron's Indian assets for iPhone manufacturing in November, as Apple hinges its hope on the India-based conglomerate to accelerate its diversification efforts. Still, Tata has limited technological expertise in iPhone manufacturing compared to its Taiwan-based counterparts.

Besides the Tata-Pegatron joint venture rumor for the Hosur facility, Tata and Pegatron may set up their second facility respectively in Tamil Nadu.

According to the Economic Times, Apple suppliers exceeded targets required under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing due to iPhone assemblers' expansion in iPhone production and exports. Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron accounted for 68%, 18%, and 14% of iPhone production in India in 2023.

Kuo Ming-chi, an analyst at TF International Securities, forecasted that India is expected to account for 20-25% of global iPhone production in 2024.