India’s smartphones export surpassed $2 billion (about Rs 16,500 crore) in the first two months of 2023, led primarily by Apple and Samsung, bringing the total export value to over $9 billion since April 2022 as manufacturers increased production and outbound shipments.

According to data from industry group India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) that was made exclusively available to ET, smartphone shipments between April 2022 and February 2023 increased by two times compared to the same period last year, when exports were almost $4.5 billion. Also, it is anticipated that smartphone exports, which were $5.8 billion last year, will more than quadruple in the fiscal year ending March 31. According to the data, India’s smartphone manufacturers would start exporting roughly $1 billion per month starting in September 2022, largely due to the production-linked incentive (PLI) programs.

Since April 2022, Apple and Samsung have together contributed almost 90% of all exports, with Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron, and Pegatron, the iPhone maker’s contract manufacturers, accounting for about 55% of that amount and Samsung for the remaining 35%. In addition to Apple and Samsung, the remaining exports were made by companies that exported particular handset models to other markets where there was a pricing differential, according to ICEA.

According to business leaders, devices built in India are now being delivered to the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, the UK, and other nations. The Middle East, Africa, and South America were the main destinations for handset exports in the past.

According to the ICEA data, the export share of total production is predicted to increase from 16% in FY22 to 24% in FY23.

According to Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the ICEA, India is anticipated to produce smartphones valued at about Rs 3.3 lakh crore ($40 billion), up 20% on-year, of which roughly $10 billion worth of devices will be exported.

“Only strong exports may be used to assess the effectiveness and maturity of an industry. Initiatives for policy and outreach about mobile phones have been persistent, and the results are now in front of us,” “he stated.

The organization that represents the smartphone industry, including Apple, Xiaomi, Foxconn, Lava, and other manufacturers, stated that efforts are being made to expand the ecosystem of domestic electronics production. An ICEA and ICRIER study predicts that local value addition will be about 25% by the conclusion of the current fiscal year.

Samsung and Apple’s contract manufacturers are a part of the government’s Rs 38,00 crore PLI plan for mobile manufacturing, which was established to wean electronics manufacturing away from China by encouraging both international and local firms to make India a center for mobile manufacturing.

Government perks for exceeding incremental targets last year have already been given to Hon Hai and Wistron. As part of the government’s 6% incentive for the program’s first year, Foxconn received Rs 357.17 crore while Wistron received Rs 601.93 crore.

Pegatron began producing in April 2022 and will start collecting advantages this year.

In Uttar Pradesh, where it has its largest production facility, Samsung produces practically all of the products it sells both domestically and internationally, including its high-end foldable cell phones.

In 2020, the first year of the program, only the Korean smartphone brand met the incremental goals.

As a result of the success of the smartphone PLI program, the government has introduced comparable programs in 14 industries, including advanced chemical cell batteries, solar modules, white goods, IT hardware, telecom equipment, design, medicines, and solar modules.