‘Samsung will make laptops in India from this year’ | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  ‘Samsung will make laptops in India from this year’

‘Samsung will make laptops in India from this year’

T.M. Roh, president and head of the company’s mobile experience (MX) business, credited the Indian government’s supportive policies for Samsung’s expansion in the country.

T.M. Roh, president and head of MX business, Samsung. (REUTERS)Premium
T.M. Roh, president and head of MX business, Samsung. (REUTERS)

NEW DELHI : Samsung will begin manufacturing laptops at its Noida facility this year, T.M. Roh, president and head of the company’s mobile experience (MX) business, said in an interaction. This move highlights India’s growing significance as a manufacturing hub for the Korean giant, which sees the country as its second-largest manufacturing base.

Mint reported in September about Samsung’s laptop manufacturing plans.

Roh credited the Indian government’s supportive policies for Samsung’s expansion in the country. However, he noted that the global demand slowdown in 2023 necessitated some optimizations at its facilities. “Noida is the second largest base for Samsung. There may be some changes at the plant to optimize it as per the global demand, but what remains unchanged is the fact that it is an important base for us," Roh said.

In August of last year, India introduced restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, servers, and other items. This move aimed to reduce India’s dependence on imported IT hardware, aligning with the production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes for consumer electronics like personal computers, laptops and tablets.

In May 2023, the government introduced the revamped 17,000 crore PLI scheme for IT hardware to attract manufacturers of laptops, tablets, and other hardware to India, after the first version with a lower allocation failed to take off. India imports laptops and tablets worth about $8 billion every year.

Relying on projections by global market research firms, Roh said that indicators were suggesting an increase in market growth by about 5% in 2024, which will take the market back to 2022 levels, but noted the need for new features like Galaxy AI, which is AI on mobile phones, that will create new use cases among smartphone users and fuel demand in 2024.

He added that globally, replacement cycles were getting longer but at the same time a growing number of consumers were buying high-end premium products. Samsung intends to leverage the market trend by focusing on AI for mobile phones.

Samsung has a history of producing feature phones, smartphones, wearables and tablets in India. Roh said that the company will continue to cooperate with the government to strengthen manufacturing in India.

The country will also remain instrumental in developing Galaxy AI technology as the leading base of state-of-the-art smartphone technology, the senior executive said, while noting important contributions made by the R&D centres in Noida and Bangalore, in the software development to optimize AI for mobile, in proofing the AI interpretation and in the translation service.

“We intend to bring the Galaxy AI to around 100 million units within the year to provide more experiences and usability to the consumers and to popularize the AI. We will continue to popularise new technologies as soon as possible, just like we did with, for example, LTE and 5G technology and foldables phones," Roh said.

The company recently launched its flagship Galaxy S24 series smartphone, which boasts significant artificial intelligence capabilities. While the use Galaxy AI has been kept free of charge till 2025-end, Roh said that the company is yet to take a call on extending the plan beyond 2025 or begin to charge for it.

The flagship model is one of the latest products to be manufactured locally, and will become available for purchase from stores by the end of the month. Roh said the pre-orders for the flagship device in India were looking up.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Published: 30 Jan 2024, 12:05 AM IST
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