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Shipments of smartphones made in India crossed over 48 million in the first quarter of 2021, according to a new report by market research firm Counterpoint Research. According to the report, shipments of devices made in the country grew by 7% year-on-year (YOY) during the quarter, while manufacturing of feature phones declined by 41% YOY.

Prachir Singh, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research, attributed the growth of phones made in India to an increasing demand for smartphones in the country, along with an increase in exports. He said that manufacturers who have set up shop in the country shipped over 190 million units in 2021.

“In the smartphone segment, the third-party electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers captured 42% share in local manufacturing, registering 4% YoY growth in terms of shipments," he said.

In terms of EMS providers in the country, the Indian arm of Taiwanese Foxconn, called Bharat FIH, was the top EMS provider in India in the first quarter of 2022, according to Singh. Homegrown Dixon Technologies followed in the smartphone manufacturing segment, though Lava made the most made in India feature phones, with 21% market share.

Among brands, Chinese Oppo shipped the most number of made in India smartphones during the quarter, followed by Samsung. The two smartphone makers had 22% and 21% market share, respectively, in the overall number of made in India smartphones shipped here.

The mobile phone manufacturing industry in India has been spurred over the past two years, after the Indian government introduced a production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturers. Under this, the government gives manufacturing firms 4-6% cash incentives for incremental sales of goods manufactured in India over the base year of 2019-20. 

While the scheme was introduced in 2020, most PLI applicants failed to meet the targets last year, following widespread supply chain shortages, pandemic-driven lockdowns and other constraints. The government, in turn, chose to extend the scheme’s tenure to 2025-26, as opposed to the earlier 2024-25 end date.

“Going forward, we believe India’s handset manufacturing will grow 4% YoY in 2022," Counterpoint said in its report. Industry estimates say that India currently has the capacity to produce somewhere between 300 to 350 million mobile phones every year, including both smartphones and feature phones.

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