Customers shop at a Samsung mobile store in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters
Customers shop at a Samsung mobile store in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters

Amid growing threats from Chinese smartphone makers in the Indian market, Samsung Electronics is ramping up its handset production to maintain its leadership position. India is expected to overtake the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market this year.

The South Korean handset maker would invest about Rs 5,000 crore (around US $ 777 million) to double its production at its plant in Noida, India, Economic Times reported. This plant would also carry out shipments to Europe, Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, the daily added.

According to International Data Corporation‘s (IDC) Mobile Phone Tracker data released on May 16, Samsung continues to enjoy the largest market share of 28.1% in India in the first quarter of 2017, with a sequential growth of 16.9%. Multiple new launches in Q1 2017 across price bands with J2 series additions, C9 and A-series (2017 versions) have incrementally contributed over a million units.

However, Chinese players Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo now enjoy a combined market share of 51.4% in the Indian market. And for the first time in India, a smartphone model from a China-based vendor became the highest shipped smartphone as Redmi Note 4 replaced Samsung Galaxy J2 which was the top model in Q4 2016.

US technology giant Apple is also eyeing the Indian market and manufacture iPhones locally. After prolonged negotiations with the Indian government — and even a visit by CEO Tim Cook last year — the company finally decided to set up its local manufacturing base at the Bangalore plant, run by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron.