Weekly News Updates-January 31 -February 6

Tata, Pegatron in partnership talks for iPhone assembly; MoUs signed at Digital India FutureLABS Summit; Government of India announces Bharat 5G Portal; Semiconductor Laboratory revamp; Wistron Corp to set up laptop making unit; Government allocates Rs. 15,500 cr for electronics manufacturing and others; Apple leads the Indian smartphone market by revenue; Reduced import duties to boost exports

Tata, Pegatron in partnership talks for iPhone assembly

According to reports, Tata Group is in advanced discussions with Taiwan’s Pegatron, opening a new chapter in the partnership to manage the iPhone assembly factory that the Indian company is developing in Tamil Nadu.

The iPhone assembly plant that Tata is constructing in Hosur city would be its second in the country. The action is taken in tandem with Apple’s  new tab and the fast expansion of its contract manufacturers’ operations in India.

Tata is in talks to establish its first joint venture, with Pegatron, for the Hosur manufacturing plant, which would speed up the company’s plans to begin production. According to the sources, the plant would receive technical and engineering help from the Taiwanese company.


Editor’s Note: Tata Group is reportedly in advanced discussions with Pegatron to jointly manage the iPhone assembly factory being developed in Tamil Nadu, India. This partnership signifies a significant step forward in Tata’s efforts to expand its manufacturing capabilities and align with Apple’s growing operations in the country. Also many Indian companies are eager to tie up with Taiwan OEMs to boost manufacturing in India.

MoUs signed at Digital India FutureLABS Summit

At the IIIT, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar launched the “Digital India FutureLABS” initiative. The event, which focused on improving Electronics System Design through cooperative efforts, represented a turning point in India’s technological progress.

During the summit, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and industry partners, including as NXP Semiconductors, Tenstorrent, and Qualcomm India, signed over 20 MoUs. These collaborations cover domains such as Indian Telecom Stack, Design & Innovation in Compute Space, and High-Performance Computing.

Under the direction of C-DAC, the Digital India FutureLABS project aims to capitalise on the trillion-dollar market in electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM). The project utilizes cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and quantum computing and is strategically positioned in important development areas like communication, automotive and mobility, strategic electronics, and industrial  IoT.


Government of India announces Bharat 5G Portal, focused on 6G research and development

The Department of Technology (DoT) has launched a request for 6G R&D proposals on the integrated portal. The proposal calls for faster research on the creation of the 6G ecosystem.

Additionally, the Secretary unveiled the Future Tech-Experts registration portal in association with PANIIT USA, which is a critical step in supporting and directing the Indian telecom industry. The Bharat 5G Portal will prominently display this project.

Secretary additionally inaugurated a special meeting session titled “Bridging Dreams and Funding: Linking Venture Capital/investors to the Future of Startups”. In order to secure finance, 26 startups and MSMEs showcased their cutting-edge telecom products in an exclusive presentation at the event. At the meeting, around ten investors and venture capitalists took part. Participants from worldwide delegates and startups/MSMEs held a discussion about ways to help the growth and scalability of their products with the help of venture funding.


Editor’s Note: The Government of India has launched the Bharat 5G Portal, which not only focuses on 5G but also initiates research and development for 6G technology. Through collaborations with organizations like PANIIT USA and efforts to connect investors with startups, the portal aims to foster innovation and accelerate the growth of India’s telecom industry. Interested companies from Taiwan can follow the portal to get associated and engaged with the developments in India.

Semiconductor Laboratory revamp: Tata, Texas, Tower among nine bidders

Nine companies have reportedly put forward bids to the government to renovate the Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL) in Mohali, including Texas Instruments, Tata Group, and Tower Semiconductor.

About $1 billion has been set aside by the government to update the 48-year-old facility.

The only semiconductor production plant in India is owned by the government and operates under SCL. It produces chips for defence and strategic applications, including space missions like Chandrayaan.


Editor’s Note: This is part of our follow up on development of Semiconductor spectrum in India.

Wistron Corp to set up laptop making unit for $181 million

The local government of Karnataka said that Taiwan’s Wistron Corp. has signed a non-binding agreement to invest 15 billion rupees ($180.7 million) in the establishment of a laptop manufacturing unit.

According to a government statement, the proposed plant is anticipated to generate about 3,000 jobs in addition to producing parts for electric vehicles.

Wistron intends to begin producing laptops at the facility in January 2026 and to export over half of the devices produced there. The agreement was reached months after Wistron approved the estimated $125 million sale of its Apple iPhone manufacturing unit to Tata Group, a salt-to-software conglomerate.


Editor’s Note: Wistron Corp, based in Taiwan, has inked a non-binding agreement with the Karnataka government in India to invest $180.7 million in a laptop manufacturing unit, expected to create 3,000 jobs and produce parts for electric vehicles. This move aligns with Wistron’s strategy to diversify its manufacturing operations following the sale of its Apple iPhone unit to Tata Group.

Government allocates Rs. 15,500 cr for electronics manufacturing, semicon, research

For the upcoming fiscal year, the government has allocated ₹15,500 crore for a number of initiatives. his includes a focus on semiconductors and the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile and IT hardware.

Approximately ₹4,203 crore has been set aside as incentives for plants that perform testing, assembly, and packaging. Projects from companies including Micron, the Foxconn-HCL joint venture, and the Tata Group are anticipated to benefit from this.

The setup of compound semiconductor and sensor plants is covered by the allocation. Amounts specifically set aside are ₹1,500 crores for electronic chip plants or semiconductor fabrication, ₹900 crores for the semiconductor laboratory located in Mohali, and Rs 200 crore for the design-linked incentive scheme.


Editor’s Note: The government of India has earmarked ₹15,500 crore for various electronics manufacturing, semiconductor, and research initiatives in the upcoming fiscal year. Notable allocations include incentives for testing, assembly, and packaging plants, as well as funding for semiconductor fabrication and design-linked incentives.

Apple leads the Indian smartphone market by revenue in 2023

According to a survey released by market researcher Counterpoint India, the iPhone manufacturer Apple identified 2023 as the first year in which it topped the smartphone market revenue chart in India. Although Apple’s revenue from iPhone sales in India fell short of $10 billion, it was still sufficient to challenge Samsung’s long-standing dominance over other smartphone brands, according to two industry officials who consult with several smartphone brands.

Apple’s record revenue from smartphones comes during a year in which customer disinterest in smartphones has not diminished. According to a report by Counterpoint, India’s smartphone shipments stayed stable at 152 million units until 2023.

In contrast, Apple shipped over 10 million iPhones for the first time, increasing at a rate of more than 50% YoY.


Reduced import duties to ease cost pressure and boost exports

The government’s proposal to scrap duties on mobile phone input parts will alleviate the cost pressure being faced by ecosystem suppliers, and offer a fillip to the country’s rising mobile phone exports, and increase the convenience of doing business in India, industry executives and market trackers said.

In response to industry calls for increased cost competitiveness, the government on Tuesday reduced import taxes to 10% on a number of parts that are essential for the manufacturing of mobile phones, including mechanics and display assembly.


Editor’s Note: The government’s decision to eliminate import duties on essential mobile phone parts is expected to reduce cost pressures for ecosystem suppliers and boost mobile phone exports from India. This move is seen as a significant step towards enhancing the competitiveness of the industry and improving the ease of doing business in the country, according to industry experts and market analysts.