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Korean electronics major Samsung will invest in setting up smart manufacturing capabilities at its mobile phone plant in Noida to make production more competitive, the company's global head for mobile business said here on Monday. Samsung Electronics President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business T M Roh, in response to a PTI query on the company's investment plan in India, said that the company will continue to invest in research and development facilities in the country.

"We will continue our investment to bring the optimised and or smart factory to the Noida facilities. We will continue our investment there. I believe that our investment for the smart factory will bring competitiveness in the production," Roh said.

The company started a manufacturing and R&D centre in India in 1996 and now has close to 70,000 employees in the country.

Samsung now has its second biggest manufacturing facility in the world at Noida and biggest research and development centre at Bengaluru in India.

The company this year started manufacturing its premium Galaxy S23 series in India.

"Samsung India has been focussing on make in India, make for India. We are not only meeting the domestic need but also use it as a hub for export," Roh said.

He said the company is collaborating with local vendors in India for mobile chargers and components like mechanics.

"It could not have been possible to be competitive without collaboration with local partners. The technology collaboration will continue with local partners. We have products for export, which are done in close collaboration with local vendors. In the case of OLED display manufacturing, we have been closely working with local vendors," Roh said.

Samsung has around 10,000 employees at its R&D centres across India, out of which the largest base of close to 3,500 is located at its Bengaluru centre.

"We have the biggest research and development centre here. For the new innovation we will continue our investment in this area," Roh said.

He said that India is estimated to have 1 billion smartphone users by 2026 and its population of 600 million in the age group of 18-35 years makes it the largest population of GenZ and GenY in the world.

When asked about efforts to catch up with iPhone maker Apple in the premium segment, Roh said that Samsung understands Indian customers more than any other company as it has the biggest R&D centre and also design centre in the country to develop good products as per their need.

"Our strategy to increase our market share in the premium segment in India is to understand the needs of Indian customers. To increase the market share, we want to enhance the customers' content creation experience and also bring the features to enable that," he said.

According to market research, Apple maintained its lead in the premium smartphone segment (priced above Rs 40,000 a unit) with a 60 per cent share followed by Samsung with a 21 per cent share in 2022.

However, Samsung led the premium segment in value terms with 22 per cent market share while Apple holding 18 per cent market share.

Roh said that the company is also planning to introduce self repair service in India soon.

The service will enable customers to buy components like phone screens to replace the damaged display on their phones.