India sees surging electronics exports thanks to iPhone manufacturers

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Thanks to rising production and exports by Apple suppliers, India continued to witness surging electronics exports, and the export momentum is expected to remain.

The Economic Times reported that the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) data shows that electronics exports from India grew by 22.24%, a record high for India, to over US$20 billion during the first nine months of fiscal 2024 (April 2023 to March 2024), with handsets accounting for 52% of the exports. The ICEA expects handset exports to rise from US$11.1 billion in fiscal 2023 to US$14-15 billion by the end of March 2024.

Notably, the ICEA said iPhones constituted 70% of India's handset exports and 35% of total electronics exports during the period, and electronics has become the fifth-largest export product in India as of December 2023.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics was surpassed by Apple suppliers, including Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron, in handset exports, as Samsung did not produce enough handsets in India and did not file claims for the second-year incentives provided by India's Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing, reports the Economic Times. A couple of days ago, Samsung said it would make the latest Galaxy S24 series in India and export them to meet overseas demand.

Business Standard reported that Apple plans to boost its iPhone production, with an expected production value of US$12 billion in Freight On Board (FOB) by fiscal 2024. The report said Apple suppliers had made iPhones worth US$9.4 billion in India in the first nine months of fiscal 2024.

Eyeing the huge market potential, Samsung, as well as China-based smartphone vendors, expanded handset production capacity in India after the Indian government launched the Phased Manufacturing Program, which imposed customs duty on imported handsets and components after 2016. Samsung's Noida facility, the largest handset manufacturing plant in the world at the time, was put into operation in 2018. Still, Samsung relied more on its facilities in Vietnam as the production costs are lower than those in India. However, DIGITIMES Research observed that Samsung is on its way to expanding production in India since the pandemic as part of its diversification strategy.