Feb 3: In what could be seen as significant in the mobile phone terrain of late, India has seen a major fall in the import of mobile phones since 2016.
Import of mobile phones like the Google Pixel 2 or the I Phone X have had a noticeable fall from 205 million in 2014 to 83 million in 2016. Reports suggested that the number could see a further fall from 77 million in 2017 to 31 million in 2018.
Even as the situation continues, India’s import bill has however seen a rise. From $8.8 billion in 2014 to $11 billion in 2016 and further to $12.6 billion in 2017, import bills have been on an upward spiral.
Going by data put out by Counterpoint, a further rise of $13.3 billion in 2018 is expected. The total import bill of finished phones have however fallen drastically.
Imports of components have increased phenomenally with very little value addition in India. Domestic value addition has seen a miniscule increase of 5.6 percent in 2016 from 3.6 percent in 2014. The value addition is likely to remain the same in the year ahead, it said.
What is heartening is the fact that more than 70 percent of mobile phones sold in India are ‘Made in India’. However, ironic is the fact that the major beneficiaries of this trend are foreign mobile manufacturers, especially the Chinese companies.
This also means that though employment has increased, the profits of components made in India and sold in the domestic markets reach foreign firms.