South Korean tech giant Samsung recently made Bangladesh swell with pride after it started manufacturing its flagship smart device Galaxy Note10+ in its local plant, in a testament of the massive technological advancement of the country’s mobile device assembling industry.
The Note10+ has been designed like a computer, a gaming console and a movie-tech camera, and comes with an intelligent pen.
“No doubt this is the most sophisticated handset produced in the country,” said Mohammad Mesbah Uddin, chief marketing officer of Fair Electronics, Samsung’s local assembly partner.
The first batch of locally assembled Note10+ from Fair Electronics’ 58,000 square feet state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Narsingdi was delivered to the market in the first week of January.
Thanks to local assembly, the flagship Samsung device became Tk 31,300 cheaper: it is now selling at Tk 113,000.
All 1,500 units in the first batch has already been sold out.
“We received tremendous response from the market,” said Uddin, who is also the joint secretary of the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
And the overwhelming response has convinced Fair Electronics to assemble the Note10 Lite, another top-notch handset.
Fair Electronics, which started assembling Samsung handsets last year, has so far churned out 20 lakh units of 4G-enabled smartphones.
Some 25 Samsung models of Samsung handsets have been assembled at the plant.
“We will now move to assembling more sophisticated handset models. Gradually, all the high-end models will be manufactured in our plant.”
The incredulous development is courtesy of a policy swerve in fiscal 2017-18: a good number of licences were offered for mobile assembly plants. Nine have sprung up so far.
Fair Electronics is now assembling about 97 per cent of all Samsung devices sold in Bangladesh and expects to suspend importing after March as its local plant is capable of meeting the domestic demand entirely.
This year, the company is aiming to assemble 25 lakh units of smartphones.
The company is now adding about 35 per cent value to its products, and within the next few years the value addition will go up to 45 per cent as it plans to set up a PCBA motherboard manufacturing system.
The quality of the locally made devices is, in some cases, better than that of the imported ones, said Muyeedur Rahman, head of mobile at Samsung Mobile Bangladesh.
“The quality has improved significantly. Which is why we are offering 120 days of replacement warranty for the devices,” he added.
Samsung is now taking preparation to manufacture tablets locally.
Fair Electronics is also manufacturing several models of Samsung home appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens and televisions in different units on the Narsingdi plant premises. A unit to manufacture washing machines is on the way, too.