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HMD Global heading towards making its own components in India

The Nokia manufacturer aims to improve domestic manufacturing after selling 70 million smartphones last year.

With goals set on growing its smartphone business in India, HMD Global have announced that they now want to stress more on the in-grown manufacturing of its own components for handsets in the country. The move comes a week after the Indian government imposed a 10 percent tax on the import of key smartphone components including printed circuit board assembly and camera modules.

Having turned its fortunes in India by growing its business in the country by five times, HMD Global has managed to sell over 70 million handsets globally since it took over a ten-year license to manufacture the Nokia brand of smartphones back in 2016. The Finnish smartphone manufacturer has partnered up with Foxconn to manufacture their own smartphone components as well as Surface-mount technology lines in order to avoid charges on the import of the same. SMT is the process of mounting electronic circuits on top of a printed circuit board.

“Until this year, we imported all our components and assembled them here. Now we will be manufacturing some of the components in India as well… next year more, and the year after that even more. We are following the phased manufacturing programme. In line with this, we have started having conversations with our partner Foxconn to manufacture our own components in the country. It will happen over a period of time. We may be a little behind, but it will eventually happen and the components that attract import duty will be manufactured here”Ajey Mehta, VP and Country-Head of HMD Global, told the IANS.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi has also set up its own Printed Circuit Board Assembly unit in India with three new smartphone plants still to come. The new plants will be set up in collaboration with Foxconn who also happens to work with HMD Global in helping the latter with the same. Nokia phones are currently manufactured at Foxconn’s plant in Chennai where the various smartphone components are assembled after being imported.

HMD announced its newest line of smartphones last week with the release of the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 6, all of which came under the Android One initiative running the latest Android 8.0 Oreo. The devices are expected to go on sale later this month for a starting price of Rs 16,999.

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