India has seen a surge of inward investment recently, with Google, Facebook, and others pouring close to $20 billion into Jio Platforms. Apple’s assembly partner Pegatron is making preparations for its first plant in India. Pegatron is now setting up a local subsidiary and joining fellow Taiwanese electronics assemblers Foxconn Technology Group and Wistron, who have already been making some iPhone handsets in south India.
With a number of factories in China, Pegatron is the second-largest iPhone assembler and depends on Apple for more than half of its business. Like its peers, it will set up in the south India, according to a person familiar with its plans who asked not to be named. Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, and Wistron are looking to expand their operations in the country, and Pegatron’s entry can be seen as a defensive move to protect its share of budget iPhone manufacturing, according to reports.
India offers a vast pool of skilled labour as well as a domestic market of a billion mobile connections. Only about half of those are smartphones, however, leaving untapped potential that is attractive to growth-hungry global brands like Apple, Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, and Oppo. For assemblers like Pegatron, exports would also be an enticing opportunity, especially at a time of worsening trade relations between Washington and Beijing making it imperative to have a diverse geographic base.