Demand for Manufacturing Smartphones in India Rises

Aug 03, 2021

India’s smartphone market has drastically changed over the past few years. While most phones are currently only assembled in India and not manufactured, government initiatives, such as the National Policy of Electronics, Make in India Program, and Phased Manufacturing Program, have encouraged global manufacturers to produce phones in India. These incentives include new de-licensing and deregulation measures to eliminate red tape and other bureaucratic roadblocks to increase speed and transparency for foreign-based companies looking to invest.

As a result, there was a sharp increase in the total number of smartphone manufacturing facilities in India, which reached almost 50, with a total output of 180M units, this year. Companies like Foxconn and Wistron have already set up manufacturing and assembling plants in India. Apple is even manufacturing older iPhones in India, and Samsung recently created the world’s largest smartphone assembly plant. By 2020, this new factory will double Samsung’s current smartphone manufacturing capacity of 67M to 120M. Other smartphone companies, like Lava and Micromax, have also been making phones in India. Nokia will soon manufacture phone components in India as well. [12]

Government Supports India’s EMS

  • National Policy of Electronics (NPE): Domestic production of smartphones is garnering more attention within the Government of India’s 2018 NPE, an initiative to develop and promote India as a global hub for electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM), vastly reducing the 70-80% of electronics products previously imported into the country. A cornerstone of the NPE is the continued expansion of special economic zones throughout India, where electronics manufacturers enjoy generous economic incentives, including tax and tariff exemptions, reduced utility costs, and shipping infrastructure. [3]
  • Make in India Program: This initiative was established in 2014 to enhance the country’s reputation as a world-class manufacturing center. In 2016, the government announced ambitious new incentives and policies to promote investment, foster innovation, and protect intellectual property, all directed toward sustaining a highly efficient, world-class manufacturing infrastructure. The government will also provide state-sponsored grants and rebates for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and reward facilities that meet the country’s green technology standards. [4]
  • Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP): India currently imports chipsets for smartphone handsets. However, there has been an uptick in the production of phone components. In 2015, the government initiated the PMP to strengthen the domestic manufacturing of phone handsets. India is expected to produce more than $15B worth of components by 2020 and 1.2B phones by 2025. More phone chargers and battery packs will be manufactured in India, which will create over a million jobs in India. [1]

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

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