Samsung looks set to build new Indian factory

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By Larry Banks

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung Electronics is planning a third manufacturing plant in India, as the Korean company aims to increase its presence in the region and reduce costs.

Samsung in talks to build new factory

“We are in talks with the state governments” about a potential investment, a company spokesman said, but without providing more details. The same spokesperson said that as yet, nothing had been decided.

In January 2015, the South Korean technology company launched a new budget smartphone in India that runs its own Tizen operating system (which is a rival to Android), in an attempt to best Google’s Android, while also battling against increased competition against low-cost local brands. The Samsung Z1 smartphone retails for less than $100.

Besides the launch of the Samsung Z1, the company has also recently invested almost $84 million in a mobile phone production plan in the north Indian town of Noida. Samsung currently has two plants in India, where it produces various consumer electronics such as mobiles, televisions and refrigerators.

Z1 Tizen Smartphone
Samsung’s Z1 Tizen-powered smartphone.

Samsung has so far decline to comment whether the new plant would also produce cellphones.

The biggest smartphone vendor in India is now Micromax Informatics, which outsold Samsung for the first time in the December period, according to research company Canalys.

Micromax offers a large variety of mobiles which cost well below those sold by the tech giants, which helped it achieve a 22% market share, moving ahead of Samsung which holds 20%.

This February, Samsung also launched the Z1 phone in Bangladesh, which neighbours India and has a population of 156.6 million people, and a very low rate of smartphone penetration estimated – the figure was just 6% in 2013.

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