By sam | @samjjmm
CHENNAI: Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, currently present in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, will invest well over Rs 1,500 crore to have new production lines to manufacture certain iphone models in its factory in Sriperumbudur near Chennai, three people aware of the expansion plans of Foxconn said.
Apple refused to comment on the development while Foxconn India officials were unavailable for comment according to the post on economics time.
Titled Project Fruit, the plan to expand the Sriperumdur unit of Taiwanese phone manufacturer Foxconn to make smartphones including the coveted iPhone devices has been in the works for over a year, said one of the people aware of the developments around Foxconn’s expansion in India. “It has been a work in progress for over a year,|” saida person directly involved in the project to manufacture iPhones from Tamil Nadu.
Currently, Apple phones such as the iPhone 6S and SE models are made by another Taiwanese phonemaker Wistron in Bengaluru in Karnataka.
Another person aware of the developments said the deal is expected to be announced on January 24, when the state will unveil new investments in Tamil Nadu during the second Global Investors Meet scheduled in January 2019. MC Sampath, minister for industries, told ETthat the project is expected to bring employment of over 25,000 jobs over a certain period of years.
Earlier, Foxconn had considered utilising its Sriperumbudur unit to house component manufacturers who could supplement the phone assembly ecosystem. It is still unclear if Foxconn
Foxconn had earlier applied for conversion of a portion of its SEZ area in its Sriperumbudur plant to DTA, which can enable sale of its products in India. Foxconn also manufactures phones for chinese brand Xiaomi and other products from its factory.
The company had shuttered its unit in Tamil Nadu right after Nokia announced the closure of its large unit inside the Nokia Telecom SEZ in Sriperumdur after the unit was left out a large sale to Microsoft. Foxconn had recommenced producton from a leased building inside the Sri City manufacturing cluster just across the border in Andhra Pradesh.
While Foxconn plans to expand its current unit in Sriperumbudur, it also has another factory inside the Nokia Telecom SEZ. Salcomp, a phone battery maker, is the only unit currently functioning in the 212-acre SEZ.
The development that Foxconn will bring iPhone manufacture to Tamil Nadu will bring a big boost to Tamil Nadu’s image on the national manufacturing scene, considering the stagnant ease of doing business rankings and concerns over factoring moving over to Andhra Pradesh.