Apple supplier Foxconn to invest $1 bn in India to expand Chennai plant

Might start making iPhone models currently made in China at the plant in Tamil Nadu

Apple-iPhone-user-file Representational image | Getty

In an impetus for the Centre, Foxconn, which assembles iPhones in a factory in Sriperumbudur near Chennai, is planning to invest $1 billion to expand the plant. According to a Reuters report citing sources, Foxconn’s planned investment in the plant will take place over the course of three years.

Foxconn assembles Apple’s iPhone XR at the Sriperumbudur plant. Reportedly, other iPhone models, currently made by Foxconn in China, will be made at the plant in Tamil Nadu. However, talks are still going on and yet to be finalised. 

The move is seen as part of Apple's decision to gradually shift away from China amid disruptions from a trade war between Beijing and Washington and the coronavirus crisis. 

Taipei-headquartered Foxconn will add some 6,000 jobs at the Sriperumbudur plant under the plan. It also operates a separate plant in Andhra Pradesh, where it makes smartphones for China’s Xiaomi Corp, among others.

Currently, Apple has around 2 per cent share of the overall Indian smartphone market. However, it was one of the fastest-growing brands in the October-December quarter of last year. Apple has shown more focus in the Indian market last year, with special pricing, promotions and e-commerce push. Greenshoots from this reversal of trend were showing in the quarter ended June 2019 when sales growth of iPhones picked up in India. 

Building more phones in India will also help Apple save on import taxes that further push up its prices.