HTC, which considers India to be one of its crucial markets has shown interest in buying Nokia’s Chennai plant, in case it is up for sale. The plant in question may not make it to Microsoft under Nokia-Microsoft deal due to ongoing tax issues. Nokia has offered VRS to its employees and has given enough indication that they are going to scale down operations and shift production to favorable countries like, Vietnam.
“I am happy to look into it, because the overall preparation, exploration hinges upon if it will serve consumers better. If that (plant) will do that (service consumers better), then we would be happy to look further into it,” Chialin Chang, HTC Chief Financial Officer, told ET.
Nokia has just announced that deal-closure is supposed to take place on 25th April, so it becomes increasingly difficult to expect plant transfer to Microsoft with deal-closure. Nokia has however mentioned that they will continue manufacturing phones for Microsoft for a limited time. HTC may be eying the opportunity to buy the plant once Nokia plans to offload it after “production commitment to Microsoft” for limited time expires.
A person in the know of the matter however said as a factory, the Chennai plant may be fast losing its importance to Microsoft, given the ongoing tax issues.
“It makes no sense for Microsoft to keep the factory as they can easily outsource the entire production to China, just like Apple does, and successfully at that”, the person said. As it is, Nokia has reportedly shifted much of the production of its popular Asha series featurephones to Vietnam.
This could further open up the possibility of Nokia closing down the plant all together or sell the plant to a third party, bringing into the picture handset makers like HTC which are betting on India’s fast growing smartphone market for global growth.
“India is a very crucial market for HTC. We want to go deeper into tier 1 cities, expand beyond tier 1 cities,” said Chang.
He said that the company is likely to launch some more smartphones at different price points in early June. HTC will also launch wearable devices and tablets in the second half of 2014.
This could further open up ..