Smartphone Manufacturing Explodes in India

From two factories in 2014 to 120 today, including the world’s largest.

The new Noida facility. (Image courtesy of Samsung.)

The new Noida facility. (Image courtesy of Samsung.)

Earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Samsung Electronics’ new mobile phone manufacturing facility—which, according to Samsung is “The World’s Largest Mobile Factory”—in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

With this new facility, Samsung will double its current capacity for mobile phones in Noida from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year, in a phase-wise expansion that will be completed by 2020.

Samsung announced the plan to invest INR 4,915 crore ($786.4 million USD) to add capacity to the Noida plant last year, under the Uttar Pradesh government’s Mega Policy, which promised security and an uninterrupted power supply to any factory that wants to set up shop in the state.

According to the Samsung, the Noida factory, which was set up in 1996,  was one of the first global electronics manufacturing facilities established in India. Today, it covers 1.4 million square feet and is the key to Samsung’s averred goal of making India an electronics export hub for the world.

This is one of dozens of examples of the growing electronics manufacturing sector in India. According to the country’s electronics and information technology minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Indian electronics manufacturing has created 400,000 jobs since 2014. The most telling, statistic, however, is the contrast between the number of smartphone manufacturing units in 2014 versus today.

Also according to Prasad—and independently confirmed by industry analysis firm, Counterpoint Research—India has gone from having just two smartphone manufacturing units in 2014 to 120 today, including the world’s largest. Of course, most of those facilities are focused on assembly, but that dramatic shift does suggest that the country’s Make in India initiative—launched in 2014—has been working.

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