Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus said Monday it’s investing USD 140 million in its R&D center in the south Indian city of Hyderabad in a bid to boost the facility into its biggest research hub globally over the next three years.
The company, according to a press statement, is recalibrating the tech center’s efforts to “drive innovation in India for the global product,” especially in areas include AI, 5G, and IoT.
The facility will house three labs that dedicate to camera development, Artificial Intelligence performance testing, and drive the 5G enablement for regions like India, EU, and the UK.
In addition to turning the facility into its global research powerhouse that drives innovation for other markets, OnePlus is also looking at the center for innovations that are “centric and relevant to the company’s Indian community,” which is one of the largest contributors to the company’s growth.
The Shenzhen-based smartphone maker considers India as one of its biggest markets where it claims to have grown by over 100% in the last year. For OnePlus, India will become the benchmark for creating globally successful products, it said.
According to a Counterpoint research, Korean-handset maker Samsung leads the premium smartphone segment (USD 420-plus category) with 44% market share, followed by OnePlus that captures 26% of the market, pushing Apple at third spot with 19%.
In the second quarter (April-June) this year, India saw its highest smartphone shipment at 36.9 million units, a jump of 10% from last year.
In the past years, Hyderabad has become the hot-bed for companies to launch their R&D centers and manufacturing units as local government eases out the process of getting land under the country’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Global conglomerates including US-based retailer Walmart, Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, among others, have all set up their facilities in the city.
According to a former Indian minister, Hyderabad’s share of the office or IT space absorption in India has increased from about 8 to 10%, four years ago to 27% in the first half of 2019.