Cupertino in talks with TATA, Murugappa group. Apple is planning to start making some key components of the iPhone in India. To begin with, Apple will start making camera modules in the country through a partnership the Tata Group and Murugappa Group

Apple is in the final stages of negotiations with Tata Group’s Titan Company and Chennai’s Murugappa Group to potentially assemble. Discussions are also going on about manufacturing other sub-components for the iPhone’s camera modules.

Apple has been trying to move away from China and rebuild its supply chains and components manufacturing away from the country as part of its China Plus One Policy, as per a report by The Economic Times.

As of now, Apple has no Indian suppliers for the iPhone’s camera modules. This makes the upcoming partnerships a rather important chapter in Apple’s India story.

Although there is no clarity in regards to what direction Apple plans to take, the decision on the preferred partner, either Titan or Murugappa Group, is expected to be made within the next five to six months. Interestingly, Apple will have already launched the iPhone 16 series by then.

The camera module is a critical component of the iPhone, with non-Pro models featuring dual cameras and Pro models equipped with state-of-the-art, triple camera setups. However, more than the hardware, it is Apple’s image processing science, algorithms and tuning that sets Apple apart from its competition.

The Titan and Murugappa Group have made a name for themselves in high-precision manufacturing not just in India, but all over the world. Perhaps, that is why, Apple has decided to partner with either of the two, or maybe even both.

The Murugappa Group acquired a major stake in Moshine Electronics in 2022 and has since showcased its capabilities in this sector, on a global scale. Similarly, the Titan Company, through its subsidiary Titan Engineering and Automation, has a strong track record of serving global clients in industries like defence and aerospace with their precision manufacturing.

Both Titan and Murugappa Group have also qualified for the Government of India’s incentives to set up semiconductor chip fabrication units in India. The Tata Group is already constructing an $11-billion chip fabrication in Dholera, Gujarat. The plant, one of the largest of its kind in India, is expected to underscore India’s potential as a hub for high-tech manufacturing.

Localising production in India could offer significant cost advantages for Apple while decreasing reliance on Chinese suppliers. This move also aligns with Apple’s aggressive push to expand its manufacturing footprint in India, supported by initiatives like the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Currently, approximately 70 per cent of iPhones manufactured in India are exported, and Apple hopes that it can push this number up to 80 per cent soon.

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