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Apple planning to make camera modules in India, Cupertino in talks with Tata, Murugappa group

Apple is in the final stages of negotiations with Tata Group’s Titan Company and Chennai’s Murugappa Group to possibly assemble. Discussions about manufacturing other sub-components for the iPhone’s camera modules are ongoing.

Apple has been trying to move away from China and rebuild its supply chains and component manufacturing away from the country as part of its China Plus One Policy, as per a report by The Economic Times.

Currently, Apple has no Indian suppliers for iPhone camera modules. This makes the upcoming partnerships a rather important chapter in Apple’s India story.

Although Apple’s direction is unclear, the decision on the preferred partner, Titan or Murugappa Group, will be made within five to six months. Interestingly, Apple will have already launched the iPhone 16 series by then.

The camera module is a critical component of the iPhone, with non-Pro models featuring dual and Pro models equipped with state-of-the-art triple camera setups. However, more than the hardware, Apple’s image processing science, algorithms, and tuning set it apart from its competition.

The Titan and Murugappa Group have established a reputation in high-precision manufacturing, not just in India but worldwide. Perhaps that is why Apple has decided to partner with either or both.

The Murugappa Group acquired a significant stake in Moshine Electronics in 2022 and has since showcased its capabilities in this sector on a global scale. Similarly, through its subsidiary Titan Engineering and Automation, Titan Company has a strong track record of serving international clients in industries like defense and aerospace with precision manufacturing.

Both Titan and Murugappa Group have also qualified for the Government of India’s incentives to set up semiconductor chip fabrication units in India. The Tata Group is already constructing an $11-billion chip fabrication in Dholera, Gujarat. The plant, one of the largest in India, is expected to underscore India’s potential as a hub for high-tech manufacturing.

Localizing production in India could offer Apple significant cost advantages while decreasing its reliance on Chinese suppliers. This move also aligns with Apple’s aggressive push to expand its manufacturing footprint in India, supported by initiatives like the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Approximately 70 percent of iPhones manufactured in India are exported, and Apple hopes to increase this number to 80 percent soon.

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