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Electronics exports grow at record 22 per cent in April-December

India’selectronics exportsgrew at a record 22.24% to cross the $20 billion mark in the first nine months of FY24, propelled by booming smartphone shipments, spearheaded by Apple’siPhone.

According to industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), mobile phone exports reached $10.5 billion during April to December 2023, comprising 52% of total electronics exports. In FY23, electronics exports stood at $23.6 billion, of which mobile phones comprised $11.1 billion or 43%.

Industry data showed iPhones were the single largest contributor to the surge in both electronics and mobile exports this fiscal. iPhone exports, which crossed $7 billion in December 2023, constituted 35% of total electronics exports and a whopping 70% of the country’s total mobile exports in the nine months ended December.

As per government data, electronics exports grew at the fastest pace among the top 10 categories of exports so far this fiscal, lifting the segment to the fifth position from sixth place last year.

Till a few years ago, electronics was placed ninth in terms of exports categories but with the commencement of smartphone production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in 2021, the export uptake has been fast.

ICEA predicts mobile phone exports to reach $14-15 billion by the end of this fiscal.

If the robust growth trends continue, electronics will likely end up in the fourth position by March, jumping two ranks this fiscal.

Mobile exports have soared nearly seven times from $1.6 billion in FY19 to $11.1 billion in FY23. Overall electronics exports have also grown nearly 3 times in the same period – from $8.4 billion in FY19 to $23.6 billion in FY23.

The growth in mobile exports has been led by Apple and its three contract manufacturers -Foxconn, Wistron (now owned by Tata group) and Pegatron. Samsung, though, has been facing a drag in export performance over the last few years with the South Korean major even missing the production targets for FY22 under the PLI scheme.

In contrast, Apple has been exceeding the PLI targets with the Cupertino-based tech giant diversifying its supply chain in India. Apple has achieved the ₹1 lakh crore production mark in 2023, becoming the first mobile company to do so.

“Apple’s iPhone production symbolises not just a win for the government’s high profile Make in India and PLI scheme, but also its ambition to successfully shift global supply chains to India,” said an electronics industry veteran.

With exports likely to drive further expansion in mobile phone manufacturing amid a saturation in the domestic market, the industry has sought a favourable tax and tariff regime that is competitive with countries such as China and Vietnam.

The industry is considering a target of $50 billion in exports over the next few years. Towards that end, it is seeking specific policy interventions to ensure that global value chains can expand operations in the country, build an ecosystem and boost domestic value addition.


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