Smartphones become India's fourth largest export item with 42% growth

English | 23 May, 2024 | 10:12 AM
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The eligible companies for the PLI scheme include Apple’s three vendors – Foxconn, Wistron India (now Tata Electronics), and Pegatron – as well as Samsung

Smartphones are now the fourth-largest export item from India with 42 per cent growth to $15.6 billion in FY24, up by one notch in the ranking from the preceding year.

India started collecting data for smartphones separately from April 2022. While India’s top export items are dominated by petroleum products, smartphones replaced motor gasoline to become the fourth-largest exported commodity in FY24.

According to commerce department data, the spike in smartphone exports was driven by a 158 per cent increase in shipments to the US at $5.6 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates ($2.6 billion), the Netherlands ($1.2 billion), and the UK ($1.1 billion).

The value of mobile devices produced in India for both export and domestic markets in FY24 soared to Rs 4.1 trillion ($49.16 billion), up at least 17 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y), according to preliminary estimates by the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which represents most of the mobile players in the country.

Smartphones have been a key success story of the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, helping India become the second-largest mobile phone manufac-turing country, after China. It has also been a key instrument in the China-Plus-One strategy, which is focused on leveraging the geopolitical tensions between that country and the US to woo companies manufacturing in China and persuade them to shift to India.

 The eligible firms for PLI include Apple’s three vendors — Foxconn, Wistron India (now Tata Electronics), and Pegatron — as well as Samsung.

Apple has led the charge in exports, with the value of outbound shipments of mobile devices expected to have crossed Rs 1.2 trillion ($14.39 billion) in FY24, up 33 per cent from Rs 90,000 crore in FY23.  Exports in FY24, based on the early estimates, accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the total output value, up from 25 per cent in FY23, according to ICEA data.

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