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India's electronics exports surpass $20 billion, iPhone dominates surge

India's electronics exports record 22.24% growth in the first nine months of FY24, with iPhones leading the surge

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Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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India witnessed a 22.24 per cent surge in electronics exports, surpassing the $20 billion milestone within the nine months of the financial year 2023-24 (FY24). This was spearheaded by surging smartphone shipments, especially Apple's iPhone, according to a report by The Economic Times (ET).

Mobile phone exports, accounting for 52 per cent of total electronics exports, reached $10.5 billion between April and December 2023. Notably, iPhones emerged as the primary driver of exports, contributing 35 per cent of the total electronics exports and a staggering 70 per cent to the country's overall mobile exports during this period. In December 2023 alone, iPhone exports exceeded $7 billion.

The data, provided by the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), as reported by ET, indicates that electronics exports experienced the fastest growth among the top 10 export categories in the current financial year, elevating the sector to the fifth position from sixth last year. This growth is attributed to the smartphone production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme initiated under the Modi-government in 2021.

ICEA forecasts mobile phone exports to reach $14-15 billion by the end of FY2. If the current growth trajectory persists, electronics exports are likely to secure the fourth position by March, marking a two-rank jump within a single financial year.

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The surge in mobile exports, increasing nearly sevenfold from $1.6 billion in FY19 to $11.1 billion in FY23, is propelled mainly by Apple and its contract manufacturers—Foxconn, Wistron (now owned by Tata group), and Pegatron. In contrast, Samsung has faced export challenges, even missing production targets under the PLI scheme.

Apple's iPhone production surpassed the Rs 1 trillion production mark in 2023, making the US-based company a pivotal player in India's electronics landscape.

With exports poised to drive further expansion in mobile phone manufacturing, the industry advocates for a competitive tax and tariff regime to sustain global competitiveness with countries like China and Vietnam.

India also green-lighted $10 billion semiconductor PLI in 2021 to make India a global manufacturing hub. The chip can be used for a range of electronics, from mobile phones to cars. This also contributes to India's "Make in India" initiative that aims to bolster the country's manufacturing sector.
 

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First Published: Jan 22 2024 | 10:21 AM IST

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