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India closing gap with China, Vietnam in smartphone exports

With growing smartphone exports, India is rapidly closing the gap with China and Vietnam. Mobile exports from China and Vietnam decreased by 2.78 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively in FY24 compared to the previous year. In contrast, India’s mobile phone exports saw a significant increase of 40.5 per cent.

India has absorbed nearly 50 per cent of the decline in mobile phone exports from China and Vietnam. Although China continues to be the leading exporter of mobile handsets, India is showing notable progress.

Data from the International Trade Centre (ITC) shows that Chinese mobile phone exports fell from $136.3 billion in FY23 to $132.5 billion in FY24, marking a 2.8 per cent decrease, which translates to a $3.8 billion drop, the report noted.

Similarly, Vietnam’s mobile phone exports declined from $31.9 billion in FY23 to $26.27 billion in FY24, a 17.6 per cent decrease, amounting to a $5.6 billion drop. The combined reduction in exports from both countries totaled $9.4 billion.

The ITC, a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO, has been operational since 1968. It provides trade data for 220 countries and territories, covering 5,300 products.

India’s mobile phone exports rose by over 40 per cent, reaching $15.6 billion in FY24 from $11.1 billion in FY23, a $4.5 billion increase.

Apple’s exports exceed $2 billion
Business Standard earlier reported that Apple Inc has significantly increased its iPhone exports from India, exceeding $2 billion in the first two months of FY25. This represents 81 per cent of India’s total iPhone production worth $2.6 billion.

In May, Apple again surpassed $1 billion in iPhone exports, mirroring its performance in April.

Under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, the three Apple Inc vendors have a target to achieve a production value of $10.2 billion (including exports) in FY25. They have already reached 25 per cent of this target in just two months.

In FY25 so far, Foxconn Hon Hai, Apple’s leading vendor, contributed 65 per cent of the total exports, Wistron 24 per cent, and Pegatron the remaining 11 per cent. All three vendors are part of the smartphone PLI scheme, which is currently in its fourth year of a five-year plan.

Apple, which operates the world’s largest global value chain (GVC), concluded FY24 in India with a total iPhone production valued at $14 billion free-on-board (FOB). The market value of these iPhones is approximately $22 billion, factoring in logistics and local taxes. In FY24, Apple exported $10 billion worth of iPhones, representing 70 per cent of the year’s FOB production value.

Smartphones become fourth-largest export item
Smartphones became the fourth-largest export item from India, with a 42 per cent increase to $15.6 billion in FY24, moving up one spot from the previous year. India began collecting separate data for smartphone exports starting in April 2022. While petroleum products dominate India’s top export items, smartphones have now overtaken motor gasoline to become the fourth-largest exported commodity in FY24.

According to Commerce Department data in May, the surge in smartphone exports was driven by a 158 per cent increase in shipments to the US, valued 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 rose to Rs 4.1 trillion ($49.16 billion), up at least 17 per cent year-on-year, according to preliminary estimates by the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which represents most of the mobile players in the country. Business Standard

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