Apple has tapped manufacturer Wistron as the first major supplier in India for this year's iPhone 8, following multiple reports that the company has been looking into manufacturing its products locally in the country. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Wistron will become the first original equipment manufacturer for 2017 iPhones, while Foxconn and a collection of other suppliers are being eyed as back up OEMs "if demand increases."
In a report by The Times of India last month, Apple was said to be looking into building an iPhone manufacturing plant in Bangalore, India with Wistron as a partner. That plant is believed to have production up and running by April and be a major contributor to the Indian iPhone supply chain by the end of 2017.
In today's DigiTimes report, Wistron is specifically mentioned to have expanded smartphone production capacity in both India and China.
Apple has reportedly selected Wistron to be the first OEM in India for new iPhones to be launched in 2017, while Foxconn Electronics and other makers will become second OEMs if demand increases. In preparation for OEM production, Wistron has expanded smartphone production capacity in Kunshan, eastern China, and in India. Wistron chairman and CEO Simon Lin declined to comment.
Apple has been attempting to increase its presence in India throughout the past year, most recently looking into manufacturing its products locally, while also creating a new distribution center in India to consolidate its logistics and supply chain.
The company asked for tax concessions from the Indian government so it could get its facilities up and running at a smoother pace, but it was denied such benefits earlier this month. Still, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India will keep an "open mind" for any future incentive requests from Apple.