Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Big move: OnePlus, Samsung to make smart TVs in India

Leading consumer brands Samsung and OnePlus have decided to locally manufacture most of their televisions in India. Their decision is reportedly impelled by the zero import duty on open cell TV panel, a vital component in TV manufacture. 

This development comes alongside the news that television sales in India, especially big-screened smart televisions, have got a new buoyancy. 

According to a news report in Economic Times, Samsung will likely manufacture locally 85 to 90% of the televisions it sells in India. On the other hand, OnePlus will begin domestic production of TVs in India for the first time ever. OnePlus launched its TVs in India last July, and the TVs sold so far were imported from China.

Samsung and OnePlus have both tied up with the Chinese electronics firm Skyworth to manufacture TV sets at its plant in Hyderabad which is a JV  with an Indian firm. Skyworth will make 32 and 43 inches TV sets --- two of the more popular sizes to sell in India.

Samsung's plans

Samsung moving its 32 and 43 inches TV manufacturing to Skyworth means its existing tie up with another contract manufacturer, Dixon Technologies, will be tweaked.

Samsung reportedly has asked Dixon Technologies to make smart TV variants from 43-58 inches. It is a segment that is seeing good traction in India this season, as people stuck at home due to the lockdown, have shown a liking for larger screens. Dixon, for the record, also has ties-up with Xiami and Panasonic for manufacture of smart TVs.  

Samsung had resumed manufacture in India early this year (January) after it had halted its production in October 2018 in the light of 5% import duties on smart TV panels.

It was only after that import duty was scrapped, Samsung got back to local production. 

OnePlus's gambit

For OnePlus, this is a major decision to manufacture locally as it had managed its TV sales in India till now through imports from China.

OnePlus, it is said, aims to make India its production hub for global exports. The television units will reportedly be imported in the open-cell format to avail duty benefits.

For OnePlus, smart TVs are the next big growth category after having conquered the premium segment in smartphones. OnePlus has plans to expand its television portfolio in the country to include smaller screen sizes, too.

All leading TV manufacturers such as LG, Sony, Xiaomi and Panasonic have already been manufacturing TVs in India.

Boost for Make in India idea

Samsung and OnePlus opting for local manufacture is being seen as major shot in the arm for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call for building Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

With two consumer goods biggies choosing to make India its production base, it is doubtless portrayed as a boost for Make In India plan that the present government in India is tom-tomming about.

Source: Economic Times.

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