Smartphones Emerge as India’s 4th Largest Export Item with 42% Growth

by IS_Indust

India’s smartphone exports have reached new heights, becoming the fourth-largest export item in the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) with a growth of 42% to $15.6 billion. This represents a one-notch increase in ranking from the previous year, showcasing the rapid expansion of the Indian smartphone industry.

The surge in smartphone exports was primarily driven by a 158% increase in shipments to the United States, amounting to $5.6 billion. Other major export destinations include the United Arab Emirates ($2.6 billion), the Netherlands ($1.2 billion), and the United Kingdom ($1.1 billion).

India began collecting separate data for smartphones from April 2022, and the top export items are now dominated by petroleum products. The value of mobile devices produced in India for both export and domestic markets in FY24 is estimated to have reached Rs 4.1 trillion ($49.16 billion), representing a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase of at least 17%, 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 manufacturing country after China. The PLI scheme has also been instrumental in the China-Plus-One strategy, which aims to leverage the geopolitical tensions between China and the United States to attract companies manufacturing in China to shift their operations 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 been at the forefront of 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% from Rs 90,000 crore in FY23. Exports in FY24 are estimated to account for nearly 30% of the total output value, up from 25% in FY23, according to ICEA data.

The remarkable growth of smartphone exports highlights India’s potential as a global manufacturing hub and the success of government initiatives in promoting the domestic electronics industry. As India continues to attract investments and leverage its skilled workforce, the smartphone sector is poised for further expansion and increased contribution to the country’s export earnings.

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