Local smartphone manufacturers need to have design capabilities in-house to compete in the nation’s smartphone industry, which is currently dominated by Chinese firms, according to chipmakers like Qualcomm and Mediatek.
They claimed that a production linked incentive, or PLI, plan, together with the geopolitical environment, will present them with an opportunity and aid in their industry learning curve.
Separately, Anku Jain, the managing director of MediaTek India, told ET that various domestic OEMs in the ecosystem are considering domestic design prospects. “They are trying to create more talent pool in India because it is available here. We have a very high quality of engineering available here.”
According to Jain, Indian firms want to be more in tune with the domestic market and understand what will appeal to people there. “We work with them and do R&D together. For one of the players that launched a 5G phone, we worked closely with them.”
He claimed that Mediatek’s Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture was developed to provide businesses the freedom to tailor essential 5G mobile device functionalities to various market niches.
The chipset manufacturers’ remarks come as a portion of the industry is pressuring the government to ban these brands from competing in the sub-Rs 12,000 segment in an effort to save Indian businesses. According to data from Counterpoint Research, the sub-Rs 10,000 sector currently only represents 35% of the market in terms of shipments, down from 84% in 2015. Additionally, the Rs 10,000–Rs 20,000 sector has increased from 13% in 2015 to 45% of the market in 2021. In 2021, the over Rs 20,000 sector represented 20% of the market, up from just 3% in 2015.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a notable minister of state for electronics and IT, recently stated that anytime the government feels that Indian firms are being pushed out by unfair trade practises, it would like to interfere and make sure that these problems are resolved.
He stressed that there is no intention to outlaw the selling of handsets built by these companies for less than Rs 12,000 and that there is still room for foreign brands in the country’s electronic ecosystem.