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Uttar Pradesh approves financial incentives for Samsung display factory



NEW DELHI: India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Friday said it will give financial incentives to South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co to set up a 48.25 billion rupee ($654.36 million) display factory.

Samsung is re-locating the factory to the state from China, the Uttar Pradesh administration said in a statement, a move that will help boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship drive to make India a manufacturing hub.

India is the world’s second-biggest smartphone market with significant growth potential, which has driven companies such as Samsung to expand locally.

New Delhi earlier this year also approved financial incentives–under a $6.65 billion federal plan to boost domestic smartphone production–for 16 companies, including Samsung and top Apple suppliers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.

On Friday, Uttar Pradesh said Samsung will receive 7 billion rupees in financial benefits and will also get an exemption from a tax payable on the transfer of land for the factory.

Samsung had sought tax and other incentives from Uttar Pradesh for this smartphone display manufacturing plant, Reuters previously reported.

The unit, expected to create 510 direct jobs, is expected to be operational next year.

Samsung already operates one of the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturing plants in Uttar Pradesh.

Source: Reuters, Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi and Saurabh Sharma in Lucknow; Editing by Sam Holmes


Apple supplier Murata expects half billion 5G phones in new year



By Takashi Mochizuki and Yuki Furukawa

NEW DELHI: Murata Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest maker of ceramic capacitors for Apple Inc. and other smartphone brands, expects demand for fifth-generation wireless devices to surpass 500 million handsets in the coming fiscal year, building on a rush to replace Huawei Technologies Co. in the global consumer arena.

Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. and Chinese rivals Xiaomi Corp., Oppo and Vivo are vying to secure components for their devices, hoping to fill a void as Huawei’s mobile business shrinks under the weight of U.S. sanctions. President Norio Nakajima said in a December interview that Murata’s factories won’t be taking a holiday break as they work to catch up with mounting orders, adding “the situation is most severe with our cutting-edge capacitors for smartphone use.”

“These handset makers are competing to grab our supply capacity once taken by Huawei, and I am not sure how much of it is backed up by their actual production forecast,” Nakajima said. “I feel like the move is overheated, and thus expect their orders would drop in February and March.”

Murata is the global leader in MLCC, or multilayer ceramic capacitors, used to regulate electric flow in circuit boards. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of them are attached to electronics ranging from smartphones to automobiles.

“The industry had 300 million units of 5G smartphones during the current fiscal year, and I expect that to increase to at least 500 million in the next fiscal year,” the president of the Kyoto-based company said. “We will continue making capital expenditure to keep up with the growing demand.”

Analysts deem the Murata chief’s stance too conservative. Ace Research Institute’s Hideki Yasuda doesn’t expect demand from Apple and its ilk to drop at any point in this calendar year, fueled by stronger-than-anticipated consumer appetite for 5G phones. Handsets set to be released this year are also going to be compatible with a wider set of frequencies, expanding the need for Murata-made components to adjust electricity flow.

Yasuda said Murata’s production hiccups are representative of severe shortages across the electronics supply chain, affecting the assembly of many products, including video game consoles. Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Series X both remain limited in supply, nearly two months after their initial release.

Murata’s Nakajima doesn’t dispute that demand for its MLCC would remain strong throughout this year, though he said he expected a brief respite after China’s Lunar New Year holiday. He said the company’s MLCC sales would increase by 10% in its next fiscal year starting in April due largely to 5G phones.

Source: Bloomberg

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Vivo India to raise localisation level to 40 per cent by 2021



NEW DELHI: Smartphone brand Vivo India on Friday said it was planning to raise the localisation level in the phones produced in India to 40 per cent by 2021, a senior company official said.

The government in the recent past increased import duty on accessories and components of mobile phones like motherboards, panels and touchpads by about 10 per cent to promote local manufacturing.

Currently, the localisation level for Vivo India is 15 per cent for all the handsets it sells in India and the company had committed to raise it to 40 per cent at its Noida manufacturing facility in continuation of Vivo’s commitment to ‘Make in India’, Vivo India director-brand strategy, Nipun Marya said at the launch of V20 SE in West Bengal.

Vivo claimed 28 per cent market share at the national level and was the top brand in terms of volume in the offline smartphones market in 2020.

In West Bengal the market share is 21 per cent, the company claimed. In the last quarter Vivo’s market had expanded while in West Bengal it shrank by one per cent.

West Bengal contributes over 5 per cent (by volume) to the overall smartphone market in India selling approximately 5 lakh smartphones per month, Marya said.

He did not elaborate on sales till now in the ongoing festive season and said the next 10 days remains to be crucial.

Source: Press Trust of India

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New iPhone SE now assembled in India, arriving soon for Apple fans



NEW DELHI: Apple has started assembling its affordable second-generation iPhone SE (2020) in India that will reach authorised retail stores and online channels very soon, the company said on Monday.

Targeting Android mid-segment users as well as aspirational iPhone seekers, Apple brought the new iPhone SE to India that looks like Apple iPhone 8 with the power of iPhone 11, to the India market for just Rs 42,500.

“New iPhone SE packs our most powerful chip into our most popular size at our most affordable price and we’re excited to be making it in India for our local customers,” Apple said in a statement.

The new iPhone SE is being assembled by Apple supplier Wistron at its Bengaluru facility.

With this, the Cupertino-based tech giant that became the first US company to cross the $2-trillion mark last week, is now assembling four high-selling iPhones in India: iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 7 and new iPhone SE.

According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices and IPDS, IDC India, the new iPhone SE is finding good traction in the India market, primarily because it is a new iPhone from Apple at an attractive price point.

“Given its attractive price point and expected price aggression by brands and channels (online platforms) during the next few festive months, we should see the new iPhone SE to further find good traction in next few months,” Singh told IANS.

Also, a small set of consumers still prefer a smaller pocket-sized phone and “there are not many such options in the market where phones are getting bigger in size”.

The HDFC Bank has a cashback offer which brings the price of new iPhone SE further down to Rs 38,900.

Apple started assembling iPhones in India in 2017. Currently, iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are being assembled by Foxconn at its Chennai plant and iPhone 7 and new iPhone SE by Wistron in Bengaluru.

Original iPhone SE and iPhone 6s were assembled by Wistron but those were discontinued in 2019.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, with the iPhone SE 2020, Apple has added a new chapter to its rather impressive India growth story.

“The iPhone SE 2020 has been doing exceptionally well, capturing 8 per cent market share of the total premium smartphones shipped during Q2 (second quarter),” Ram told IANS.

With a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, Touch ID, A13 Bionic chip that enables great battery life and the best single-camera system, the new iPhone SE is a powerful and compact new smartphone.

In the latest earnings call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone revenue grew 2 per cent in the June quarter and the company witnessed a strong iPhone SE launch amid great customer response.

“The combination of the smaller form factor and an incredibly affordable price made the iPhone SE very popular. iPhone 11 is still the most popular smartphone, but iPhone SE definitely helped our results,” Cook said.


Source: IANS

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