Doubling down on India's mobile phone market, Samsung has inaugurated a new mobile phone manufacturing facility in Noida, in Northern India, in the presence of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. After commencing operations in the new factory, Samsung India will be churning out 120 million mobile phone units annually over 60 million units manufactured currently. This number includes both smartphones and feature phones, that still account for a majority stake in the country's total mobile phone sales. The new plant has been developed on a 35-acre, or 141,640 square meters, land adjacent to the company's existing Noida facility that manufactures both mobile phones as well as consumer electronics. Given the increased production capacity, Samsung may also consider exporting devices from its new factory to other South Asian countries.
Besides Noida, Samsung has another production facility in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in Southern India along with five research and development centers and a design center also situated in Noida. The plant in the North Indian city was opened in 1996, a year after Samsung India was established, and has since expanded to include more products from different verticals and employing over 70,000 people. Mobile phone manufacturing in the plant began in 2007, while smartphones were later added in 2012 with the first device being the Galaxy S3. India currently produces about 10 percent of Samsung's total global yield, which the company wants to push to 50 percent in the next three years. This new factory has been erected after the South Korean company committed to invest Rs. 4,915 crores ($716 million) for expanding its North Indian plant last year. Once operating at full capacity, the plant will help the company cater to the growing local demand by more than doubling its mobile phone production capacity to 12 million units each month from 5 million currently.
Samsung held a majority portion in the Indian smartphone market until recently when Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi overtook the top spot pushing the former to the second position, according to a report by IDC. In the feature phone segment, too, a local telecom company Reliance Jio is far ahead of Samsung, thanks to strong demand for its JioPhone feature phone. However, Samsung continues to be a market leader in the high-end segment (over $600) that recently witnessed the launch of the Galaxy S9 line of smartphones that helped drive sales for the company.