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Pegatron to boost Apple iPhone production in India

Apple Inc’s iPhone production in India got a major boost on Friday with Taiwan’s Pegatron Technology throwing open its massive facility that will assemble high-end smartphones of the California-based electronics major in Singaperumalkovil near here.

The state-of-the-art production facility at Mahindra City, 45 km from Chennai, has come up at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore and is expected to provide jobs to 14,000 people, the majority of which will be women. Chief Minister M K Stalin inaugurated the new facility in the presence of Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrashekhar.

Pegatron Technology India launched its production within 18 months of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government in February 2021 under the previous AIADMK government. The company will manufacture Apple iPhones under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme of the Union Government.

Pegatron is the third contract manufacturer of Apple Inc to set up shop in India after Wistron and Foxconn, whose facility in Sriperumbudur on the outskirts of Chennai will soon begin to ship iPhone 14, the company’s latest flagship model to domestic and export markets.

Several models of Apple iPhones like the iPhone SE, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 are already being manufactured by Foxconn and Wistron, which has a facility near Bengaluru.

With Pegatron joining the ranks, the export of Apple iPhones from India is set to increase significantly amid reports that the US-based company is planning to shift a significant portion of its operation from China to India. Sources told DH that Pegatron’s new facility is likely to roll out iPhone 12 to start with following which it will graduate to assembling iPhone 13.

In his speech, Stalin said his government wants Tamil Nadu to replace China as the hub for manufacturing new models of smartphones. “We want to emerge as the no.1 hub for producing smartphones and we are taking steps to bring the entire supply chain to our state,” he added.

He also said Chennai, Hosur, and Coimbatore are getting more investments in the electronics sector. The Chief Minister also expressed the hope that Pegatron will invest more in Tamil Nadu to expand its facility.

Chandrasekar said the inauguration of Pegatron’s factory marks a “milestone” in India’s determination to become, in a very systematic manner, a significant player in the global value chain of electronics.

“Continued investments in the electronics and other sectors into various states of India is a message to the rest of the world that Team India is determined to create an environment conducive for global manufacturers. This investment is only the tip of the iceberg. Tamil Nadu should try and get many such investments,” he said.

Cheng Jian Jong, Chairman of Pegatron, said the company began work on the India factory during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our global footprint has extended to India with our facility here in Chennai. Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, we are overwhelmed by the warm support offered by government authorities and trusted partners across sectors. This is an important milestone for Pegatron Group, and we look forward to more fruitful years of association,” Cheng Jian Jong added.

Tamil Nadu, which currently accounts for 20 per cent of the national production of electronics and hardware, aims to increase the share to 25 per cent and enhance the industry’s output to $ 100 billion by 2025.

The state, which is already home to the top 16 electronics manufacturers, including Nokia, Samsung, Flex, Dell, Motorola, Salcomp, HP, and Foxconn, wants the electronics industry to be on par with automobiles which accounts for 37.6 per cent of the country’s automobile and auto component exports, apparel (30.8 per cent) and footwear (46.4 per cent).

The state has two exclusive Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for Electronics and Hardware manufacturing in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from here, and in Oragadam, 70 km from here, spread over 800 acres.

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