Seoul-headquartered mobile phone giant Samsung Electronics Co. opened the world’s largest mobile phone factory in the outskirts of New Delhi in India—the world’s second largest smartphone market—in a move to attract investors to the Asia’s third largest economy’s manufacturing sector.
The 35-acres factory was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Monday, July 9. Through this project Samsung Noida’s unit capacity will be doubled from 67 million phones a year to 120 million by 2020.
In June 2017, the South Korean smartphone-maker had announced a $714.45 million (INR 4,915 crore) investment to expand the Noida plant, which currently has a capacity of 67 million units a year. At the moment Samsung has two manufacturing plants, in Noida, New Delhi and Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, plus five R&D centers, and one design center in Noida. The electronics-giant employs over 70,000 people in India and plans to expand its current network of retail outlets to 150,000 in the country.
The plant expansion will not only cater to the growing mobile market in a country that has a population of 1.3 billion population and 425 million smartphone users at present, but it will also double Samsung’s production capacity of consumer electronics including flat-panel televisions and refrigerators, boosting the company’s sales in these segments as well.
According to latest reports from International Data Corporation, India’s smartphone market grew by 14% in 2017 with total shipments of 124 million units. This has made India one of the growing markets among the top 20 smartphone markets in the world.
In late 2016, the Asian-nation saw dull smartphone sales on the back of demonetization initiative launched by the ruling government. However, it regained momentum in the last quarter of 2017 shipping 56 million phones.
Overall in the first quarter of 2018, the world’s largest smartphone market China faced the first decline in sales while sales in the US was moderately flat.
According to Cisco Systems, India will have 780 million connected smartphones by 2021, 38% up from 359 million in 2016.