Apple to assemble top models in plant near Chennai

Chennai: Apple Inc will begin assembling its top-end iPhones in India through the local unit of Foxconn as early as 2019, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed.

Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn that currently manufactures phones for top smartphone brand Xiaomi is all set to ship top-end iPhones such as devices in the flagship iPhone X family, from its Sriperumbudur plant, near here. By doing so, the firm is expected to employ more than 25,000 people in the State.

Foxconn, currently present in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh, will invest well over Rs 1,500 crore to have new production lines to manufacture the phones from the top phone maker.

The deal is expected to be announced on 24 January, when the State will unveil new investments in Tamilnadu during the second Global Investors Meet scheduled in January 2019.

Titled Project Fruit, sources state that the plan has been in works for over a year. ‘It has been a work in progress for over a year,’ said a person directly involved in the project.

Currently, Apple phones such as the iPhone 6S and SE models are made by another Taiwanese phonemaker Wistron in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

State Minister for Industries, MC Sampath, has confirmed that the project is underway and that it is expected to bring over 25,000 jobs over a certain period of years.

The development that Foxconn will bring iPhone manufacture to Tamilnadu is expected to boost the State’s image in the national manufacturing scene, considering the stagnant ease of doing business rankings and concerns over factoring moving over to neighbouring State of Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier, Foxconn had downed shutters in its unit in Tamilnadu, right after Nokia announced the closure of its large unit inside the Nokia Telecom SEZ. Nokia came up with the announcement after the unit was left out for a large sale to Microsoft.

Foxconn had recommenced producton from a leased building inside the Sri City manufacturing cluster just across the border in Andhra Pradesh.

The company had also considered utilising its Sriperumbudur unit to house component manufacturers who could supplement the phone assembly ecosystem.

Foxconn had earlier applied for conversion of a portion of its SEZ area in its Sriperumbudur plant to DTA, which can enable sale of its products in India.

It must be noted that the Chinese manufacturer has another factory inside the Nokia Telecom SEZ where phone battery maker Salcomp is the only unit that is currently functioning.

INDIAN 5G CHIP

Bengaluru-based Saankhya Labs recently unveiled the first indigenously developed electronic chipset that can be used for functions like direct TV broadcast on mobile devices, curbing call drops and 5G connections.

‘Saankhya Labs, a Bengaluru-based company is launching its indigenously designed and developed, the worldÂ’s first and most advanced multi-standard next-generation TV system on the chip,’ Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha, said after unveiling the chipset.

‘I am also told that this broadband-broadcast convergence technology has great potential to minimise or eliminate call quality issues faced by telecom operators today,’ Sinha said.

All electronic chipsets, considered as the heart of modern devices, have been developed by foreign companies so far. None of them is made in India because there is no modern semiconductor manufacturing plant in the country.

Electronic chipsets of Saankhya Labs are also being manufactured at Samsung facility in South Korea.

 

 

NT Bureau