Apple replaces Samsung as top smartphone exporter from India

The ongoing manifestation of the China Plus One Policy is seeing large conglomerates like Apple shift production out of China. India is certainly not complaining because, for the first time, India exported smartphones worth more than $1 billion (Rs 8,100 crore) in December 2022. That is largely thanks to a surge in Apple’s smartphone exports from India. For a long time, Samsung was the dominant player in smartphone exports from India, but Apple got that position in November 2022 and has consolidated it further in December 2022. 

 

The manufacturing hubs for iPhone 12, 13, 14 and 14+ are all based in India, with manufacturing largely undertaken by Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron. These companies identified India as an appropriate alternative production hub due to its strong English proficiency, young population, huge domestic market and the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes to boost domestic output. 

 

Under the PLI scheme, incremental sales of products ranging from tech products to key drugs have been incentivized. This move greatly attracts foreign investors and in turn augments domestic manufacturing capability, employment generation and self-sustainability.

 

Mobile exports are the beacon of realizing the objectives of the PLI scheme, and Union Budget 2023-24 will, most likely, ensure that adequate measures are taken to make the best of India’s smartphone export edge. The scheme has already produced a base case for the electronics good industry, with $16.67 billion worth of exports between April-December 2022. On a yoy basis, this surge in electronics exports is more than 50%, and also is reflective of the changing shape and colour of the Indian export basket.

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