iPhone 15 Plus


[Insights] Tata’s Challenge in Securing Large iPhobe Orders After Officially Acquiring Wistron’s India Factory

According to Bloomberg’s report, Taiwanese company Wistron, previously one of Apple’s iPhone assembly suppliers in India, has agreed to sell its 100% stake in Wistron InfoComm Manufacturing (India) Private Ltd. to Tata Group for $125 million on October 27, 2023. Wistron will formally exit Apple’s supply chain, and Tata will become the first local iPhone assembly supplier in India.

TrendForce’s insights:

  1. Apple Focuses on Indian Manufacturing as Wistron Exits iPhone Assembly Business

Amid international geopolitical risks, Apple has chosen to diversify its supply chain and production risks by shifting its iPhone assembly business from China to India. Apple’s decision to opt for India is primarily due to the fact that since 2015, India has become the fastest-growing regional market for smartphones globally.

Additionally, in recent years, the Indian government has actively worked to make India an attractive manufacturing and export hub for international companies. With strong government policy support and a vast domestic market, these factors have allured Apple to shift its production base here.

In the past, Wistron, along with Foxconn and Pegatron, was one of the three iPhone manufacturers for Apple in India. However, in 2020, there were reports of a riot at Wistron’s Indian factory, where thousands of Indian employees were dissatisfied with excessive working hours and unpaid wages. They vandalized the factory and even stole iPhones. This incident prompted Apple to initiate an investigation and ultimately led to a temporary suspension of its orders with Wistron.

Additionally, on July 17, 2020, Wistron announced the sale of its iPhone assembly plant located in Kunshan, China, to Luxshare Group. While this factory had an annual revenue that could exceed 100 billion yuan, its net profit margin was only 0.2%.

It can be inferred that the profit margins in the subcontracting business were inherently low, and following the riot incident at its Indian plant, Wistron may have lacked the bargaining leverage with Apple. Therefore, after considering all factors, it decided to sell its iPhone assembly plant in India.

  1. Tata Group Takes Over India Manufacturing, But Expectations Are Low for a Significant Increase in Their Share of New iPhone Assembly

Currently, Wistron’s factory in Bengaluru is primarily responsible for assembling orders for the iPhone 14. To qualify for production subsidies from the Indian government, Wistron has committed to producing at least $1.8 billion (USD) worth of iPhones by March 2024.  After this transaction is completed, Tata Group will take over and fulfill this commitment.

Previously, Tata Group’s casing factory produced only one out of every two components that met Apple’s standards, indicating significant room for improvement in its yield rate. By examining the outsourcing production share table below, it is evident that Foxconn has the highest share in Apple’s current new iPhone assembly. Among these four models, only certain models like iPhone15 and iPhone15 plus are produced by Tata Group in India.

This suggests that Apple may be allocating the production of relatively less popular models to Tata Group for testing their yield rates. This decision may be due to the positioning of iPhone and Plus series products, coupled with their comparatively lower sales performance in recent generations. Apple is likely doing this until the production standards of the Indian outsourcing factory can be confirmed to meet 100% compliance.

Consequently, even though Tata Group’s acquisition of Wistron’s subcontracting factory is expected to expand its capacity, its share in new iPhone assembly is unlikely to significantly increase in the short term.

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[News] Apple-Backed Luxshare Disrupts Foxconn’s Manufacturing Dominance with iPhone Production Shift

According to a report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times, the iPhone 15 series is slated to make its debut in mid-September. The closure of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory at the end of 2022, which caused disruptions in the shipment of iPhone 14, prompted Apple to not only divert orders to Pegatron but also actively support the Chinese factory Luxshare to become the second-largest assembly plant. It is projected that Luxshare will account for 28% of the iPhone 15 shipments.

With Apple’s backing, Luxshare has swiftly emerged as a potential rival to Foxconn in the assembly sector. Issues such as supply instability and employee departures arising from the closed management of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility led Apple to promptly shift 4 million iPhone 14 orders to Pegatron and shift their focus onto Luxshare. This expansion extended beyond mainland China, reaching into India as well.

The Commercial Times report mentioned that for the iPhone 15 series, Foxconn is expected to retain its position as the largest assembly factory. Analysts estimate that Foxconn will be responsible for around 58% of the production output. However, Luxshare is set to take on the assembly of the two lower-tier models, as well as a segment of assembly for the highest-tier model. This accomplishment propels Luxshare to become the second-largest assembly factory for the iPhone 15, holding a share of 28%. Additionally, Pegatron is expected to hold a share of approximately 13%, positioning itself as the third-largest assembly factory.

According to research conducted by TrendForce, Luxshare’s manufacturing proportion for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus this year is expected to reach 29% and 65%, respectively. Furthermore, Luxshare has secured a considerable 35% of the manufacturing proportion for the highest-tier iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The report from the Commercial Times also highlights that Luxshare has rapidly evolved into a pivotal player in Apple’s supply chain. In addition to handling the assembly of the iPhone 15, Luxshare has taken on the entire assembly of Apple’s heavyweight new product, the Vision Pro, this year. Moreover, Luxshare has secured a remarkable 40% of the shipment volume for the Apple Watch, establishing itself as the world’s leading outsourced manufacturer of smartwatches.

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