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Global smartphone makers plan production in Turkey

Several global smartphone makers, including China’s Oppo, South Korea’s Samsung as well as Huawei and Alcatel, are planning production in Turkey, Turkish media have reported.

Oppo and Samsung may launch their production in Turkey-based facilities in February or March 2021, according to the daily Milliyet.

The Chinese phone maker, which recently entered the local market, has already bought a facility in Istanbul’s Tuzla district and recruited personnel for its Turkey operations, the daily said, while Bloomberg HT reported that the size of Oppo’s Turkey investment will be $50 million and the company already obtained investment certificate from the government for the facility.

Oppo will export mobile phones produced in the Turkey plant to Europe and other parts of the world, according to Milliyet. Oppo will not assemble parts of smartphones but the entire production process will be conducted at its Istanbul plant.

Global smartphone giant Samsung will commence Turkey production at a plant in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, the daily reported.

The South Korean company will initially carry out production operation through an Istanbul-based subcontractor, according to Bloomberg HT.

Besides, Oppo and Samsung, other international brands, including Huawei, Alcatel and Honor, also consider production in Turkey, Milliyet said, noting that a recent government decision to provide investment incentives for smartphone production are luring global brands to the country.Turkey’s young population, its location and its tech-savvy consumers are also attracting international players in the sector to the country, the daily noted.

Local smartphone companies General Mobile and Casper, which are presently producing phones by assembling parts, are expected to switch to a model in which they will undertake every stage in the production of those gadgets.

With this production drive, nearly 25 percent of 12 million smart phones projected to be sold in Turkey in 2021 could be produced in the country, which will help to reduce the current account deficit, according to Milliyet.

Turkey spends some $6 billion on the imported smartphones each year.

“Last year, a total of 10.6 million smartphones were sold in Turkey. The COVID-19 pandemic initially adversely affected the market but the outbreak’s impact on phone sales waned later and demand for phones picked up,” said Mustafa Kemal Turnacı, the head of the Association for Mobile Communication Devices and Information Technologies Businessmen (MOBİSAD), noting that each year on average 12 million smartphones were sold in the past years. 

According to data from Turkey’s telecommunication watchdog BTK, there were nearly 82 million mobile phone subscribers as of end June, which corresponded to a penetration rate of 98.3 percent. The number of 4.5G subscribers stood at 75.2 million, data also showed.

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Written by Info Center

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