Its plans include twin smartphone manufacturing plants, one each in Gujarat and Noida, besides, a small trial production plant in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.
Foxconn had three plants on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway making phones and components for Nokia. After Nokia went belly-up, Foxconn too scaled down its production and eventually shut down all the three plants, the last of which was inside Nokia SEZ which closed in February.
“With booming smartphone sales, Foxconn is ready with its plans. On cards are two plants, one in Gujarat and the second in Noida,” sources said. Plans include manufacturing the Apple range of mobile handsets into India. Foxconn is the largest contract manufacturer for Apple.
The Taiwanese phone maker also has plans of a ‘trial production’ factory in Sri City on the fringes of Chennai in Andhra Pradesh. This trial factory will also be used for production related R&D activities besides new product development, sources said.
Details on total investments and the employment generation could not be ascertained as Foxconn did not respond to a TOI questionnaire.
To achieve this plan, Foxconn has roped in former Nokia plant officials. It is learnt that Josh Foulger, a senior Nokia hand who was involved in setting up Nokia plant in Sriperumbudur , will head Foxconn while it takes aim for its second innings.
“The planned capacity is massive, commensurate to the size of Indian market factoring in the strong growth in smart phones sales coupled with the future potential for these devices,” sources said. All these announcements for the factory will be made soon after the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy.
“While policy announcements of Make in India are not imperative for Foxconn’s investments for smart phone making plant, a favourable manufacturing policy will help greater commitment for future investments,” sources.
India, has the second-highest number of mobile phone accounts after China, and is also the third-biggest market (by volume) of smartphones sold, with sub- 6,000 handsets selling like hot cakes.
“The smartphone market is expected to more than double between now and 2018 and much of this is expected to be driven by the migration from feature phones to smartphones,” said Kiran Kumar Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.
Indian Cellular Association, the industry lobby body for phone manufacturers has stressed the need for design related work on smart phones too. “India should not only be made a manufacturing hub for mobile phones, but also a design hub that will become the bedrock for manufacturing of different kind of electronics as well as critical components like displays, lithium ion batteries. This will also reduce our dependence on imports,” the association’s officials said.