Apple leads charge as India’s smartphone exports double in record surge

India’s smartphone exports have more than doubled, reaching over $11 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March, according to trade data examined by the industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association and government officials, underscoring the South Asian market’s growing ambition to become a global hardware manufacturing hub.

Smartphone exports of $11.2 billion surpasses New Delhi’s target of $9-10 billion even as Chinese smartphone makers, who commanded over two-thirds of all local shipment in India just two years ago, contributed little to the exports.

Apple made up almost half of the total exports, with an estimated $5 billion to $5.5 billion, as per industry analysts. Samsung Electronics, the South Korean giant, ranked second with about $4 billion.

The surge in smartphone exports can be attributed to New Delhi’s concerted efforts and substantial financial incentives, which aim to encourage smartphone manufacturers to expand their operations in India as the South Asian market races to bolster local infrastructure.

Last year, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, initiated the production of the iPhone 14 in India, marking the first time the country assembled Apple’s latest model. This move is part of Apple’s aggressive strategy to diversify its supply chain network beyond China, where COVID restrictions and other factors highlighted the risks of relying heavily on a single nation.

According to analysts at JP Morgan, Apple is set to further expand its manufacturing capabilities in India, with plans to produce 25% of all iPhones by 2025. In another sign of its growing ambitions in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, Apple is set to open its first two retail stores in the country next week.

“With the doubling of exports of smartphones to more than $11 billion, India is well on its way to become a leader in the mobile device market of the world and play a major role in India’s electronic exports. This is a major win for PM Modijis Make in India program,” said Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a statement.

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