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OPPO to start manufacturing handsets in India by August


Smartphone manufacturer OPPO is planning to set up a handset manufacturing unit in India by August to primarily tend to the domestic market. The company mentions that some of devices manufactured here will also be exported to overseas markets.

However, note that the manufacturer did not mention where it would set up base, how much it would invest in it and what the expected output of the plant will be. The company does mention that it currently has 120 services centres in India and is looking to expand that number to 200 by the end of the year.

OPPO, which entered the Indian market early last year, claims to have sold over 400,000 devices in the country, and is aiming to sell 1.5 million units this year. The manufacturer currently sells around 10 different devices in the country.

Nokia Chennai plant: Earlier this week Nokia India withdrew its plea seeking urgent permission to sell its mobile manufacturing unit in Chennai. This was after the company had suspended handset production at its Chennai plant in November 2014, following the termination of its manufacturing contract with Microsoft.

The Chennai plant, was reduced to a contract manufacturing unit with Microsoft as the sole customer earlier last year, after Nokia was forced to exclude it from the Microsoft acquisition when the deal closed in April this year due to pending tax disputes with the Supreme Court as well as Madras High Court. A Nokia spokesperson had then told Medianama that they were still evaluating the plant’s future options and engaging with the Govt. and tax authorities on this issue. It subsequently filed an appeal to enable it to sell the facility.

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Mobile manufacturing in India

The Indian government has been encouraging domestic companies to start manufacturing electronics goods within the country instead of importing them and had approved 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 to do so.

– In April this year, Gionee said it would set up a manufacturing facility in India within the next three years. The company claimed that it would invest Rs 300 crore to setup this plant, which would manufacture devices for India, the SAARC countries and Nigeria.

– In January, Spice Group said it would invest Rs 500 crores to set up a manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh. The company also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Uttar Pradesh for the same, as per which the UP Government will support Spice in establishing the facility by providing the necessary infrastructure, ecosystem and incentives under various schemes. The company will use the manufacturing plant to make affordable smartphones and feature phones to target tier II and tier III cities in India.

– The same month, 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, last month the company had 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. Meanwhile, mobile phone manufacturer Micromax is already manufacturing devices in the country in its Rudrapur plant, since April last year.

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Image source: OPPO

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