Tata Group is in talks to buy Wistron Corp’s only manufacturing facility in India for up to 50 billion rupees ($612.6 million), the Economic Times business daily reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the discussions.
If it fails to strike a deal to buy the facility in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, Tata could consider a joint venture with Taiwan’s Wistron – one of Apple Inc’s top vendors in India – the report said, citing sources close to Tata.
Tata Electronics, a unit of salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, already supplies components to Apple from its Hosur unit in Tamil Nadu, which neighbours Karnataka, according to the report.
Tata, Wistron and Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ e-mailed requests for comment.
Bloomberg had reported in September that Tata was in talks with Wistron to establish a joint venture to assemble iPhones in India.
Currently, iPhones are assembled in India by at least three of Apple’s global suppliers – Wistron in Karnataka, as well as Foxconn and Pegatron in Tamil Nadu.
Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple has bet big on India since it began iPhone assembly in the country in 2017 via Wistron and later with Foxconn, in line with the Indian government’s push for local manufacturing.
J.P.Morgan analysts estimate Apple may make one out of four iPhones in India by 2025 as the tech giant moves some production away from China, amid mounting geopolitical tensions and strict COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.