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Make in India boost – Chinese Handset manufacturer Huawei will design and manufacture 90% of mobile in India in next 1-2 years

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NEW DELHI: Chinese technology giant Huawei will be manufacturing 90% of all its smartphones in India in the next 1-2 years. With an aim to capture more than 10% market in the country, the company is focussing on creating awareness for its brand and has plans of launching more products in the premium category this year.

Currently, the device maker is manufacturing 80% of Honor mobile devices, including the Honor 7X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor Holly 3 and Honor 6X in India. The company has been pushing aggressively for local manufacturing of its smartphones and has invested in factories and in adding more assembly lines.

However, it does not have plans of manufacturing PCBs locally in the near future but is willing to buy components from third-party local manufacturers. Also, Huawei has plans of adding more OEMs where it currently has a single OEM partner.

Talking to ET about the trends in the Indian market, Peter Zhai, President, Huawei India Consumer Business Group said, “This year a lot of brands will see decline in their market share; they’re going to disappear. Last year it was Gionee, this year it will be other brands. Survival in India market is very difficult; it’s not an easy job because the consumer demands are changing very fast.”

Meanwhile, the handset-maker is also trying to schedule the launch of its 5Gsmartphones in India along the timeline of the global launch. Huawei at its global analyst summit had revealed that it will be launching its first 5G-enabled smartphone in the second half of 2019. The device is expected to make its debut around Q3 of 2019 and interestingly will be using company’s own 5G chipset.

However, the company declined to comment on the speculation around its 5G-smartphone being from the Mate series. Also, it said that it’s still studying whether the Indian carriers are willing to invest to launch 5G network along the global pace.

Zhai told that the company’s Bangalore R&D centre is contributing towards handset innovations and development. “..the Bangalore R&D centre is contributing to Huawei’s phones globally. We have thousands of engineers dedicated for our business. We’re exploring various technologies at the centre which contribute towards many segments of our overall business.”

The company has an overall vision of upgrading to intelligent phones from smartphones and has been working on various capabilities where AI can play a role such as image, voice, text, video, augmented reality, recommendations etc. Huawei had earlier integrated mobile AI in its Huawei Mate 10. In this smartphone, it had integrated a neural processor dedicated to speed up AI functions locally on device.

The company on Tuesday introduced its high-end devices in India - P20 lite for Rs 19999 and P20 Pro for Rs 64999. Both the smartphones will be available on Amazon from May 3.

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