Samsung Opens World’s Largest Mobile Phone Factory in India
Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF) has created the world’s largest mobile phone factory in India. The factory was opened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in an elaborate inauguration event. Samsung India CEO HC Hong described the factory as a “symbol of Samsung’s strong commitment to India and a shining example of the success of the government’s ‘Make in India’ program.”
Samsung announced the expansion of its plant in India a year ago as part of a $715 million investment in the country. The company’s expansion facility was built on 32 acres of land next to Samsung’s original factory in Nodia, about an hour outside New Delhi. The expansion will double the capacity for mobile phones at the complex from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year. The factory will make everything from low-end smartphones to Samsung’s flagship S9 model, according to a statement from the company.
Demand for new phones is surging in India. In 2017, India became the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China, overtaking the U.S. According to International Data Corp., India’s smartphone market grew at the fastest pace of growth among the top 20 markets, increasing 14 percent with total shipments of 124 million units in 2017. Analysts predict that there will be 780 million connected smartphones in India by 2021, compared with 359 million in 2016.
Modi has been trying to encourage overseas investors to manufacture in the South Asian nation under his “Make in India” initiative. As part of the plan, the government has imposed taxes on imports of key smartphone components. The initiative is seeing some success. In the past year, the country has attracted $62 billion in foreign direct investment, including reinvestment.
India’s smartphone manufacturing industry is booming. More than 120 local factories currently assemble mobile phones and associated accessories across the nation. Earlier this year, China’s Xiaomi said it would set up three more factories in India. The company now has a total of six factories in the country, allowing it to produce two smartphones every second.