Nokia maker HMD Global is open to getting chips from India, according to top experts.

HMD Global, the maker of the Nokia mobile phone brand, will consider sourcing semiconductor chips from India for both its brands – Nokia and HMD – for local production and exports “if they meet quality and cost factors”. According to Ravi Kunwar, vice president of HMD Global’s India and APAC operations, the country would serve as a production and export hub for both brands.

HMD will begin offering its own brand of devices in the next quarters, including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, wearables, and hearables, while continuing to introduce Nokia smartphones and feature phones in markets, Kunwar added.

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“We are looking at India as a sourcing and supply-chain powerhouse. We’re willing to source processors from India provided they match quality and cost criteria,” he added, adding that HMD was considering boosting its local procurement of components, such as batteries and chargers, from the current 50%.

“Thanks to government programs like PLI (production-linked incentive) schemes, some items have become export-competitive, allowing the sector to shift some of its business from China to India. “If we can get more local sourcing, such as chip packaging, we will definitely look into it,” he said.

India could benefit from new sourcing rules.

Kunwar stated that numerous countries, notably Europe, have enacted rigorous sourcing legislation, with requirements amended or limits imposed on imports from specified countries. These improvements may impact India’s manufacturing capability, allowing HMD to export to Europe from India.

He stated that HMD feature phones and smartphones will most likely be launched in India in June or July, with local design and manufacturing. Local production is projected to increase by 30-40% by next year to meet demand in India and overseas markets, with the company aiming to capture a large share of the Indian smartphone market, he added. Currently, electronics manufacturing service providers in India produce 15-16 million smartphones and feature phones, with five to six million exports.

We are growing India as an export base and have begun shipping the Nokia 105 Classic to the Middle East and Africa in the last six months. We plan to expand our operations and enter new markets. Even for HMD-branded products, the strategy is to bring in more and more production to India and subsequently export,” he explained.

HMD Global, which owns the license to manufacture and sell Nokia mobile phones till the end of 2026, released the first set of handsets under its own brand, Pulse, for territories outside of India earlier this week. The smartphone brand has a little market share in India (approximately 1%, according to Counterpoint Research), but it considers it to be its most important market. Kunwar stated that the merging of the two brands, Nokia and HMD, will enable the company to obtain a larger market share.

Price

HMD and Nokia smartphones will be priced between ₹10,000 and ₹20,000, making up the market’s largest sector in terms of volume. Counterpoint Research estimates that over 152 million smartphones were sold in India in 2023.

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