- South Korean President Moon Jae was also present at the inauguration
- The unit will have a capacity of fabricating 120 million phones a year
- Already 40 crore Indians own smartphones, said PM Modi
The world's biggest mobile factory was launched in Noida near Delhi on Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The unit will have a capacity of fabricating 120 million phones a year -- ranging from low-end smartphones that cost under $100 to the company's flagship S9 model. It will build 10 million phones a month, 70 per cent of which will be earmarked for domestic usage.
Already 40 crore Indians own smartphones, 32 crore people use broadband, the Prime Minister said in his address at the event. The 30 per cent phones for export will help place the country in the Global market, he added.
"This step today would lend pace to Make in India, apart from empowering citizens... This is matter of pride for Uttar Pradesh and India," said PM Modi, who has been pushing foreign firms to set up plants in the country.
Last year, the government imposed taxes on import of key smartphone components as part of a plan to make India a electronics-manufacturing hub to boost growth and create tens of millions of new jobs.
"Samsung has provided employment to approximately 70,000 people, the new plant will provide employment to 1000 more," the Prime Minister pointed out.
PM Modi and the South Korean president travelled to Noida for the Samsung factory launch on the Delhi Metro. In photos tweeted by PM Modi, the two leaders were seen chatting on the metro, the Akshardham temple visible in the window behind them.
Last year, India overtook the US to become the world's second-largest smartphone market after China. There will be 780 million connected smartphones in 2021, compared with 359 million in 2016, according to a study by Cisco Systems.