The company’s official website describes Wistron as “A technical service provider, that provides state of the art information and communication related product design, manufacturing services and systems.”
What does Wistron do?
Wistron is an original manufacturing company based in Taiwan. An original manufacturing company is a business endeavor that designs and generates products for other companies to sell as their own. Wistron mainly designs modern day products that help in information and communication technology. This includes designing portable computers, desktops, laptops, handheld devices like smartphones. They have even ventured into the realm of medical technology.
Wistron was established on 30th May, 2001. It has it’s headquarters in Taiwan and has several offices all over Asia, North America and Europe.
Objective of Wistron in India
The branch of the technological giant Wistron was introduced in India with the objective of generating more employment and bringing in bigger investors to help stimulate the economy. The Wistron plant produced iphone SE and iphone 7.
The Wistron plant at Karnataka however has come into the news recently for much less praiseworthy reasons. Vandalism occurred at the Wistron plant on December 12th, 2020; where workers pelted stones and burnt two company vehicles following unsatisfactory negotiations with the management. The plant has come in the news for the violation of labor laws with regard to wage payments and working hours. Employees at the firm were promised salaries up to INR 20,000 but so far have only been paid within the range of INR 5000-6000. Most of the workers are young and in their early twenties, belonging to families with a low-income range. The workers have alleged that some of them had not received payments for over two months and they were made to work for over twelve hours.
The police have arrested about 150 workers from the thousand that had gathered in front of the plant.
Will iphones be cheaper if Wistron starts manufacturing in India?
One of the phones most sought-after by gadget enthusiasts, Apple’s iphones have a whopping price range. The price of the smartphones is the only deterrent in what could be an even larger market and a greater consumer base for Apple. While gadget enthusiasts in India might be keen to know when the prices drop; it is not going to be anywhere in the near future.
Apple Pricing Strategy
Apple Inc. has a global pricing strategy that makes it very difficult for prices to be reduced. Even by producing certain units locally, certain parts will still have to be imported. The only reduction in price maybe with regard to customs; but that is however a meagre reduction. It is however still notable that Apple has started manufacturing the more affordable iPhone SE in India. Apple had started assembling phones in India in 2017. It introduced the assembly of iPhone 6S in 2018.
Apple plans to shift its production units to India from China. This is due to increasing pressure from the Republican Donald Trump government following USA’s souring relationship with China, post-pandemic.
When will Apple come to India?
There has been much speculation that the technological giant plans to shift almost one-fifth of their production capacity to India. Apple is also keen to make use and generate benefit of the Indian government’s new Production Linked Incentive schemes (PLI schemes). The PLI scheme was introduced by the Narendra Modi government and seeks to increase the manufacturing on a domestic level and has cut down import bills. This will enable foreign companies to set up in India and also encourage Indian companies to set up more manufacturing units.
Apple’s current status in India
Currently, Apple holds only a small percentage in the national smartphone market, with India’s middle class leaning to lower priced phones. However, in the premium smartphone market, Apple holds up to 62.7% of the shares. The sale of Apple products in India is currently through resellers; they are yet to open a retail store in India.
Apple’s biggest original design manufacturer is in Taiwan; the company named Foxconn. They are the world’s biggest provider of electronic manufacturing. In India, Wistron has been making units for iphones. Foxconn and Wistron do make devices for other companies globally as well. Foxconn currently manufactures Xiaomi phones in India.