New Delhi: Apple’s latest smartphone model, the iPhone 12, has been successfully assembled in a plant in Tamil Nadu, which will prove to be a big boost to the ‘Make in India’ project.
The model was assembled in Sriperumbudur by Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn and is expected to aid the technological giant’s efforts to make inroads into the Indian market, which is the world’s second-biggest smartphone market.
Guidance Tamil Nadu, which is the state government’s nodal agency for investment promotion, made the announcement about the successful assembly of the iPhone, which was first launched in October 2020.
“Tamil Nadu, the Apple of Investors’ Eyes! The top-of-the-line #iPhone12 is now Made In Tamil Nadu,” a tweet posted by it read.
Tamil Nadu, the Apple of Investors' Eyes!
— Guidance Tamil Nadu (@Guidance_TN) April 16, 2021
A state government official, who asked not to be named, said that well-trained manpower and good industrial relations played a key role in Tamil Nadu becoming an attractive state for companies like Apple.
“Tamil Nadu is the second largest in terms of electronics and hardware manufacturing in India … We have history too; Nokia was here previously,” the official told ThePrint.
He added: “This place has been buzzing with activity. After Foxconn, Pegatron has also taken space in Tamil Nadu. Out of the three contract manufacturers (of Apple) in the world, two are here.”
The official also noted that import and export are “easy” in Tamil Nadu since the state has two ports and one airport.
Apple manufacturing models in India since 2017
The latest development comes on the heels of India’s efforts to attract large companies that are looking to diversify out of China.
For this purpose, the central government announced a slew of incentives including attractive tax rates, providing production-linked incentives, improving the ease of doing business and bringing in changes in labour laws to make it easier for industries to operate in India.
Apple has been assembling several iPhone models such as the iPhone SE, iPhone XR, iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11 in India since 2017. The iPhone SE was the first model to be done, at Wistron Corporation’s Bengaluru plant.
In 2018, it assembled the iPhone 6S, which was followed by iPhone 7 in 2019.
However, in December 2020, contract workers vandalised Wistron Corp’s Narasapura facility near Bengaluru over alleged non-payment of remuneration and overtime wherein they worked over 12-hour shifts every day.
Since then, Apple has put Wistron under probation and no more orders have been handed out to the company.
Foxconn first started assembling Apple phones, the iPhone XR, at its Tamil Nadu plant in 2019.
(Edited by Rachel John)
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