Apple’s supply chain partner Wistron started assembling the iPhone SE in India starting last year to meet local demand. Now, the company is looking to expand its assembly process by investing another $157 million USD in the country.
According to a new report from Reuters, two government sources have said Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron is close to finalizing a land deal in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru and the firm is likely to invest about $157 million USD to develop the site.
ICT Service Management Solutions, Wistron’s unit that assembles Apple’s low-cost iPhone SE in India, has been scouting for some 100 acres in and around Bengaluru, capital of Karnataka, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter but asked not to be named as they are not authorised to publicly discuss the plans.
Wistron’s global executives and government representatives met with the industry minister of Karnataka earlier in the month and a deal on the land lease may be struck in a few weeks.
Wistron is likely to use at least a part of this land to set up new assembly lines for Apple, the sources said. A third source said Apple was likely to start assembling its iPhone 6S models in India via Wistron soon, as it looks to cut costs and diversify its production base beyond greater China.
The assembly of iPhone SE in India was a pilot to test waters and it is only logical the line would be expanded, a fourth source said, without giving any details.
Local assembly could help Apple save on import taxes, price phones cheaper, and potentially widen its customer base in India, one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets, from just under 3% now.