Wistron, India’s iPhone plant unexpected to resume anytime soon

It is unlikely that Wistron Corp’s riot-hit iPhone plant in Karnataka will open any time soon. Earlier, the State government had said, “Wistron is seeking clearances to reopen the plant. This will need some time and the repair of damages is also on track, we expect the factory to restart operations by the end of January.”

The investigation is still underway against the workers who vandalised the plant in December protesting regarding salary payments. As Wistron is unable to hire fresh workers, an early resumption of operations is not possible.

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“It will take much longer than January because multiple parties are being investigated along with hundreds of workers, which means they are not getting back to work so soon,” a senior industry official said.

Wistron, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer’s plant in Narasapura, Karnataka was vandalised by a mob of factory workers in December 2020 which caused damages close to Rs 50 crore. Apple, having found lapses in the payment of worker salaries, suspended all new business to Wistron India until it rectifies the faults.

The incident disrupted Apple’s plan to manufacture the iPhone 12 Mini at the Narasapura plant, which was assembling the iPhone 7 and SE models. The analysts said that the shortfall in production caused by the disruption at Wistron to be met by imports, demand for the Apple iPhone models have eased after the festive season.