On one side, India is emerging as a bigger threat to China’s dominance in the hardware segment by showing a great degree of commitment to local manufacturing, on the other side, efforts are being made to end the duopoly of Google and Apple in the global mobile industry.
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India is looking to encourage the development of an “indigenous” mobile operating platform to compete with Android and iOS.
The announcement made by Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Minister of State for Electronics and IT) on Monday will encourage people involved in the Indian technology space to develop a mobile OS. The new OS will be developed as an Indian alternative to Android and iOS. Chandrasekhar pointed out that Android and iOS drive the developments and innovations in hardware ecosystems. As India is committed to playing a significant role in hardware manufacturing, it’s important for the country to have a say in the operating systems as well. The government also believes that having a homegrown OS will provide a lot of advantages for Indian brands to grow.
The Indian government is currently looking for startups and academic institutions capable of developing a new OS. Discussions are ongoing to establish clear goals for this project. The legislation will follow to address specific development goals. Chandrasekhar also indicated that Indian startups or companies working on Indian operating systems will easily be able to attract foreign and domestic investors when it comes to raising capital.
This project is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make Indian companies lead across multiple product categories and industries. This, in turn, will also boost the country’s tech industry.
Indian officials have unveiled a plan to increase electronics manufacturing in India by 4 folds to $300 billion in 2026 from the current $75 billion. The country also hopes to export $120 billion worth of electronics, an increase from the $15 billion currently.
Despite India being an important market for Apple, it is still facing fierce competition from Android-based devices. To strengthen its presence in a market that is well known for its price-sensitive, Apple has been steadily increasing the local manufacturing of its devices in India. According to an independent estimation, nearly 70% of all iPhones that are sold in India are manufactured locally.
After Apple launched its online store in 2020, the iPhone 11, as well as, the iPhone 12 became the most popular smartphone in India. In a bid to boost the sales of the latest model Apple will be kicking off the mass production of the iPhone 13 in India from next month. Rumors are also making rounds that the first retail Apple Store in India will come up in Mumbai soon.
Earlier Reliance Jio made headlines by announcing that the company was working closely with Google to launch India-focused Android OS, which was supposed to power the JioNext smartphones. However, after multiple delays, the launch of the JioNext smartphone failed to make its presence felt.