Videocon Mobile Phones, Videocon Group’s mobile company, has started manufacturing mobile phones in the country, before any other manufacturers or brands, the company claims. Videocon says that its largest manufacturing base is in India and it has launched the smartphone Z55 Dash, a handset which has been designed and manufactured in India.
The Z55 Dash specs and features
The dual SIM Z55 Dash features a 1.4 GHz Cortex A7 octa-core processor, is 8mm, a 5 inch HD IPS screen which has anti fingerprint coating and Dragontrail X glass and is prices at Rs 8,499, available exclusively on Flipkart (out of stock as of now) for Rs 6,490. The phone also has 1GB of ram and runs Android KitKat 4.4.2 (we know, but seriously?). The Dash has an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, made with corning glass and dual anti reflective coating, an internal storage of 8GB, expandable up to 32GB and a 2200 mAh battery. Videocon is offering 90 days of free subscription to antivirus software and a GPS powered personal safety app V-Safe.
The Indian government has been encouraging domestic companies to start manufacturing electronics goods within the country instead of importing them and had approved a National Policy on Electronics. The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) had also proposed the creation of a $1 billion fund to encourage telecom equipment manufacturing in India. The Cabinet had approved the setting up of two semiconductor wafer fabrication units at a cost of Rs 63,412 crore in India, in February last year.
Since then, various smartphone manufacturers have said they will start manufacturing in India or have already started doing so:
– Earlier this month, Lenovo started the local production of smartphones with Flextronics under a contract manufacturing deal at its Sriperumbudur plant. As of now, the facility is making Lenovo-owned Motorola’s Moto E smartphones and will starting making the K3 Note smartphone soon.
– In June, homegrown mobile phone maker Celkon opened its first manufacturing unit in the country in Telangana. The company mentioned that about 60% of the phones manufactured at this plant would be feature phones and the remaining 40% would be smartphones.
– The same month, Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturing company Foxconn said that it would start making Xiaomi phones in Andhra Pradesh, although it’s not clear when Foxconn plans to start making Xiaomi phones at this factory.
– In May, Chinese smartphone maker OPPO revealed plans of setting up a handset manufacturing unit in India by August to primarily tend to the domestic market. The company also mentioned that some of devices manufactured here would also be exported to overseas markets.
– In April, Chinese handset maker Gionee said that it would set up amanufacturing facility in India within 2018. The company claims it will invest Rs 300 crore to set up this plant, which would manufacture devices for India, the SAARC countries and Nigeria.
– In March, Samsung and Sony had announced plans for setting up manufacturing bases in India as a part of the Make in India initiative. Samsung reportedly would invest as much as $500 million to $1 billion in the manufacturing unit that will produce smartphones and tablets for the company.
– Earlier this year, Spice Group had said it would invest Rs 500 crores to set up a manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh. The company had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Uttar Pradesh for the same, as per which the UP Government would support Spice in establishing the facility by providing the necessary infrastructure, ecosystem and incentives under various schemes.
– In January, smartphone maker Samsung Electronics revealed that it had invested Rs 517 crore towards the expansion of its mobile phone plant in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, under the UP Mega Policy. Subsequently, the company reported that it would invest as much as $500 million to $1 billion in the manufacturing unit that will produce smartphones and tablets for the company.
– Sony too wants in on the action: at the MWC in Barcelona this year, Kenichiro Hibi, the head of Sony’s India operations, said that the company was planning to launch an Indian manufacturing unit ‘very soon’. He mentioned that while final decisions have not been made yet, the company would look to manufacture both flat-panel televisions and smartphones in the country.
– In April last year, mobile phone manufacturer Micromax also started manufacturing devices in the country at its Rudrapur plant. Previously, the company imported devices from China where it had tie-ups with manufacturers such as Foxconn.
*Corrigendum: The title has been edited for brevity.