India’s Meteoric Rise in Smartphone Exports and Innovation

by Manjari Singh

As we witness the rapid technological development and economic growth happening in India, it is time to acknowledge the country’s remarkable progress in becoming a global leader in the smartphone industry. The recent milestone of surpassing $10 billion in smartphone exports, led by giants like Apple and Samsung, is a testament to India’s immense potential and the effectiveness of the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

The near-absence of popular Chinese smartphone manufacturers from India’s export basket, despite their overwhelming dominance in the Indian market, highlights the shift in global production strategies. While the Indian government has encouraged Chinese companies to increase exports from India, these efforts have so far seen limited success, as China continues to meet most of its overseas commitments from factories within its own borders.

However, this has not deterred India’s ambitious plans to emerge as a leader in the global mobile device market. Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s assertion that India is well on its way to play a major role in the country’s electronic exports is supported by data released by the India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA). The figures show that smartphone exports have exceeded the initial estimates of Rs 75,000 crore targeted for FY23, primarily due to Apple’s major thrust to shipments.

Apple’s China-plus-one manufacturing strategy, coupled with the Indian government’s push for investment and expansion, has brought top manufacturers such as Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron to India. This has significantly contributed to the country’s share in smartphone exports, with Apple alone accounting for nearly 50% of total shipments, or around $5.5 billion.

Samsung, which previously led India’s phone exports, is now estimated to have sent shipments worth around $4 billion from the country. This is a clear indication of how India’s favourable policies and growing infrastructure have attracted global technological behemoths, propelling the nation to new heights in the smartphone industry.

India’s journey in technological development is a testament to its resilience, adaptability, and the power of strategic government initiatives. As the country continues to evolve as a hub for innovation and manufacturing, we can expect to witness India’s ever-growing impact on the global stage. The future looks bright, and India is fast becoming the epicentre of technological advancement in the 21st century.

Manjari Singh

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