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OnePlus partners Foxconn to assemble smartphones in India

Livemint:  October, 2015

New Delhi: Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus on Monday said it has partnered with Foxconn to assemble its phones in the Taiwanese company’s factory in Andhra Pradesh by the end of this year.

Foxconn, known for making Apple Inc.’s iPhones and iPads, will make the Chinese company’s new devices in its 30,000 sq. ft facility in the Sri City Integrated Business City in Andhra Pradesh, OnePlus said in a statement.

The factory can make up to 500,000 units per month, it said.

OnePlus plans to eventually assemble all its devices for sale in India through this local facility, said Vikas Agarwal, general manager of OnePlus in India. The company didn’t disclose any financial details of the partnership.

“We want to assemble the phones here to cut down on the waiting period to ship the phones from China and also participate in the Make in India campaign,” said Pete Lau, chief executive of OnePlus.

OnePlus is among several phone makers that are heading to India to assemble phones here, heeding the call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn the country into a manufacturing hub.

Earlier this year, China’s Xiaomi Corp. said it would partner Foxconn to make phones in its Andhra Pradesh facility. In July, Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd said it has started assembling smartphones at a Chennai facility run by Singapore-based contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd.

Foxconn is investing $5 billion to set up manufacturing units in India over the next five years.

OnePlus, started in 2013 by Lau and Carl Pei, two former executives of Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, manufactures top-end phones at inexpensive prices and positions itself between Xiaomi and Apple Inc. globally.

The company, whose smartphones are sold online through an invitation-only model, has sold more than 300,000 phones in India in the past year.

India, with roughly 150 million users, is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. With just two models—OnePlus One and OnePlus Two—the Chinese company is eyeing a share of the Indian smartphone market at a time when growth is slowing in its home market.

Lau said the company is not aiming to grab the mass market in India. “We want to target an audience that aspires to own phones with high-end specifications in the upper-middle-class segment,” he said.