Apple Group In Talks With Titan, Murugappa Group To Make iPhone Camera Modules In India

Apple has already moved a sizeable amount of its production to India — as many as 1 in 7 iPhones are now assembled in the country — and it continues to partner with Indian companies to power its operations.

Apple is in the final stages of discussions with Murugappa Group and Tata group’s Titan Company to assemble and possibly manufacture sub-components for iPhone camera modules, ET reports. Currently, there are no Indian suppliers for Apple’s iPhone camera module, so a partnership with either of the two firms will be a first for the company. Apple will reportedly finalize on a partner in the next 5-6 months.

Both Titan and Murugappa groups have a strong background in high-precision manufacturing. In 2022, Murugappa Group acquired a 76 per cent stake in Noida-based camera module maker Moshine Electronics. Titan, on the other hand, owns Titan Engineering and Automation, which caters to global customers across industries such as defence and aerospace. Titan also has a solid engineering division, and several years ago had made the Titan Edge, which was billed as the world’s thinnest watch. Both Titan and Murugappa have also qualified for government incentives to set up a semiconductor chip assembly unit in India.

Additionally, Titan is a Tata company, and Tata already partners with Tata to make iPhones. The Tata Group already manufactures parts for the iPhone from its factory in Hosur in Tamil Nadu. Tata has also signed an agreement to take over Wistron’s iPhone facility in India, making the first Indian manufacturer of iPhones. It had also been previously reported that that Tata Group is looking to open 100 Apple Exclusive stores in India.

But the Tata Group approaching Indian firms like Titan and Murugappa group to make iPhone parts shows the Indian government’s PLI scheme is working as intended. Three decades ago, China had similarly invited Western firms to manufacture their electronics in the country. It was a win win for both parties — while these companies were able to manufacture their items at low costs, local Chinese firms they partnered with slowly learnt how these electronics were made. Even as China became Apple’s biggest producer of iPhones, several Chinese companies including Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi sprung up, which began making phones of their own, and became large established businesses in their own right. These are still early days of foreign firms setting up manufacturing facilities in India, but as Apple’s talks with Titan and Murugappa group show, it’s already looking likely that technology transfers to Indian firms are set to take place.