On Thursday, South Korea’s LG Electronics launched a couple of lower mid-range smartphones in India as part of its affordable ‘K’ series of smartphones it had unveiled earlier in the year. The one interesting aspect about both the LG K7 and the LG K10 is that they will be manufactured in the country and won’t be imported from either China or South Korea. While LG already operates manufacturing facilities in India, those factories typically churn out traditional consumer electronics products like televisions and refrigerators, but these two devices will be the very first smartphones from the house of LG Electronics to be actually rolled out from the company’s Indian facilities.
According to the Managing Director LG Electronics, India, Mr. Kim Ki-Wan, “We want to tap the huge potential for smartphones in the country and the K-series will be the first ones to be manufactured in India”. That “first ones” bit in his statement is probably a hint that the company will also look to manufacture other smartphone models in India in the near future, in an attempt to tap into the rapidly-growing smartphone market in the country. Such a scenario is quite plausible, given the company also revealed that it plans to manufacture at least 1 million units in the country on a yearly basis. The smartphone industry in India is currently dominated by Samsung and Apple at the premium end and Chinese, Taiwanese and Indian brands at the mid and entry-level segments, leaving companies like LG out in the lurch.
Of course, LG Electronics is in no way the first or only multinational company to set up manufacturing in India. Given the federal government’s push to bring manufacturing to the country with its much talked-about ‘Make in India’ initiative, many firms from around the world have recently started manufacturing or at least assembling their smartphones in the country. While Samsung has been rolling out India-made smartphones for a while now, many others are also starting to do the same, either by setting up their own facilities or by outsourcing their manufacturing duties to contract manufacturers like Foxconn Technologies, who’ve already set up multiple plants in the country over the past couple of years. Companies such as Sony, Asus, HTC, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Gionee, Micromax, Lava and a whole bunch of others are either already rolling out ‘Made in India’ models to their customers in India or are planning to do so in the foreseeable future.