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Foxconn to build Xiaomi phones in India

Redmi2 Prime – first out the gate

With the world of mobile phones fragmenting into local markets, both Taiwanese maker-of-everything Foxconn and China's rising dragon Xiaomi are keen to find a route into the Indian market.

Earlier this week, El Reg reported that Foxconn will spend $5bn (£3.2bn) on new factories in India.

It's now emerged that the company will build phones for Xiaomi. India is already the world's third-largest smartphone market. Xiaomi will be taking on Samsung and the local brands of Micromax, Intex, Karbonn, and Spice, but will face the challenge of making distribution work.

Nokia was the dominant force in the Indian market, so much so that the word “Nokia” is still a colloquialism for mobile phone; but with the demise of Nokia, the local brands have filled the vacuum. This plays well to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stated intention to build India as a manufacturing nation, and he has launched a "Make in India" campaign.

Next Monday, the factory in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh will begin making Xiaomi smartphones, starting with the Redmi2 Prime. Local manufacturing will help to better manage inventory and reduce lead time: halving it from three or four weeks to a fortnight.

As well as challenging Samsung, Xiaomi is looking to take on Qualcomm. It has already switched its flagship products from Qualcomm to MediaTek processors, and now DigiTimes claims that Xiaomi is looking to build its own application processors using technology licenced from Leadcore Technology. ®

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