According to a report by The Economic Times, Apple has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first company to export smartphones worth $1 billion in a single month from India. This achievement was made in December and it also marked the highest mobile phone exports recorded in India, valued at over Rs 10,000 crore.
Apple and Samsung have traditionally been the leading mobile phone exporters in India, with Samsung holding the top spot. However, in November, Apple surpassed Samsung and became the highest mobile phone exporter from India. The company currently manufactures several models of iPhones, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 14+ in India.
The production of these iPhones in India is carried out by three contract manufacturers, Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron. According to the report, some smaller exporters also contribute to the export of iPhones from India.
The manufacturing facilities of Foxconn and Pegatron are located in the state of Tamil Nadu, while Wistron’s facility is in the state of Karnataka. These companies are participants in the Indian government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which aims to increase domestic production and exports of electronic goods.
According to government officials who spoke to The Economic Times, the total value of mobile phone exports from India would have been even higher if Samsung’s production unit had been operating at full capacity. The unit was closed for approximately 15 days in December for regular maintenance. Despite this, the success of Apple in becoming the first company to export smartphones worth $1 billion in a month from India is seen as a significant achievement and a validation of the Indian government’s PLI scheme which aims to increase domestic production and exports of electronic goods.
According to Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the India Cellular and Electronics Association , the success of mobile phone exports from India is a clear indication of the effectiveness of the government’s PLI schemes. He further added that in order to keep India’s smartphone exports competitive and growing, it is critical for the government to lower input tariffs, starting with the upcoming Union Budget. The chairman also urged the government to develop similar schemes for other electronic components such as hearables and wearables.
Data from the commerce ministry indicates that exports of electronic goods in the period of April-December 2022 reached $16.67 billion, an increase of 51.56% compared to the $10.99 billion during the previous year. This suggests a steady growth in the electronic goods export industry in India.