Wistron, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes iPhones for Apple in India, is set to invest Rs 682 crore on expanding operations, having got approval to acquire additional land near Bengaluru, a senior Karnataka minister said.

“The industries department had cleared Wistron’s proposal for about 43 acres in the state… they will invest about USD 100 million,” RV Deshpande, Karnataka’s minister of large, medium industries and infrastructure, told ET. The minister said earlier the company plans to make Apple smartphones in the new facility.

The Karnataka government issued a notification approving Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing’s proposed investment in the state to make smartphones, Internet of Things products and biotech devices. The project will come up at Narasapura Industrial Area in Kolar district, adjacent to Bengaluru district. Wistron claimed the project can create about 6,000 jobs, as per the notification.

Apple and Wistron did not comment on the matter. ET reported in January that the company had sought 40-50 acres from the state government for expansion.

“They’re ramping up for the long term, just like Foxconn is, and states are looking at these investments as big-ticket job generation opportunities. Manufacturing for Apple will be part of their expansion plans,” a senior industry executive said, asking not to be identified.

Wistron makes the iPhone SE globally for the Cupertino-based technology giant and has been assembling the device in India through its subsidiary ICT Service Management Solutions in the Peenya area of Bengaluru since early 2017.

Local manufacturing would allow Apple to expand its 2-3 percent share in India’s smartphone market amid slowing developed markets such as China and the US. The company led with a 44 percent share in the above-Rs 30,000 segment, as per January data from Counterpoint Technology Market Research. – News Tread


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