Mobile phone exports from India hit a record $1 billion in September 2022

India's mobile phone export market is dramatically increasing with each passing quarter, while the import market is gradually decreasing. Interestingly, the monthly mobile phone exports from India hit a record $1 billion mark (over Rs 8,200 crore) for the first time ever in September 2022. This represents a big achievement for local manufacturers of mobile devices.

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The unprecedented commitment and push for local manufacturing in India have started bearing fruits. India’s mobile phone export market is increasing dramatically with each passing quarter, while the import market is gradually decreasing. The monthly mobile phone exports from India hit a record $1 billion mark (over Rs 8,200 crore) for the first time ever in September 2022. This represents a big achievement for local manufacturers of mobile devices. It is also worth noting that the estimated value of devices exported in September 2022 swelled more than 200% over September 2021.

In December 2021, India exported approximately $770 million worth of mobile devices, making it the country’s second-highest monthly export.

According to ETPrime, mobile phone exports more than doubled to $4.2 billion between April and September 2022, from just $1.7 billion during the same period in 2021.

The key factors boosting India’s mobile device exports

This high demand for made-in-India mobile phones worldwide is one of the prime reasons behind the unprecedented growth. The Indian government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme has encouraged many companies to set up local manufacturing plants instead of getting devices imported.

The government announced Rs. 40,995-crore PLI scheme in April 2020. Since then, the government has been pushing all local as well as global mobile OEMs such as Apple and Samsung to increase the production of smartphone devices in India. As a result, the growth in made-in-India mobile exports is primarily driven by Samsung and Apple’s contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.

Apple’s decision to manufacture entry-level iPhone in India was a pivotal move that has encouraged many other mobile manufacturers to consider India as a manufacturing-ready hub for high-end devices as well.

It is important to note that global manufacturers account for 75%-80% of total mobile phone exported from India.

India’s mobile industry is focusing heavily on lower tariffs, improved logistics, labour reforms, and a deeper ecosystem in order to sustain the high growth, said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the industry association for mobile phones, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), in an interview with ET.

In 2016-2017, mobile exports were only 1% of India’s production. However, this figure has drastically increased in recent years. Interestingly, India’s exports of mobile devices made up a sizeable 16% of production in 2021–2022, and this percentage is expected to increase to 22% of production in 2022-2023.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government is leaving no stone unturned to lure some of the world’s top exporters of mobile devices to set up their bases in India, rather than China and Vietnam. If everything goes according to plan, India is projected to export mobile devices worth up to $60 billion by 2025-26.

Other than this scheme, the government is considering banning Chinese smartphones priced under Rs 12,000 (sub-$150) in India in order to support local manufacturers.

Xiaomi continues to lead India’s smartphone market with a 19% shipment share as of Q2 2022, according to Counterpoint Research. This is closely followed by Samsung. On the other hand, India’s feature phone market is dominated by itel with a 25% share in Q2 2022.

SourceETPrime

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