Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB will get its GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phones made in India by contract manufacturers, starting with entry-level colour phones and mid-level phones with music.
Annual production of its phones in the country is to reach 10 million by 2009, Sony Ericsson said on Wednesday.
The phones will be made by the local operations of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., which uses the brand name Foxconn, and Flextronics Corp. These companies already make phones for Sony Ericsson in other locations. About two-thirds of Sony Ericsson’s phone production worldwide is met by contract manufacturers, Miles Flint, president of Sony Ericsson told reporters in Chennai.
Flextronics will start producing Sony Ericsson phones in the second quarter, with Foxconn beginning manufacturing about two to three months later.
Sony Ericsson joins a number of mobile manufacturers, including Nokia Corp., that are manufacturing in India or contracting Indian manufacturers, to meet the country’s booming demand for mobile phones.
India’s largest telecommunications service provider, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., insists on local manufacture of equipment it procures.
Making the phones in India will help Sony Ericsson reduce costs, and offer handsets at a lower price, the company said. The phones will offer customized features for the Indian market, such as local content and customized keypads.
India is adding over 6 million mobile phone subscribers each month. The number of wireless subscribers grew 97 percent from 75.94 million at the end of December 2005 to 149.5 million subscribers at the end of last December, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in Delhi.