Nokia is moving the production of its latest smartphone lines to Vietnam and will begin making Lumia 630, Lumia 530 and other Windows-powered handsets there by the end of this month, the phone maker’s business in the Southeast Asian country has told local authorities.
Production for the said smartphones will start within the month and the handsets will be shipped globally, Nokia Vietnam said in a document submitted to the local government of the northern province of Bac Ninh, where its manufacturing plant sits, as well as relevant provincial agencies and departments.
The budget Nokia Lumia 630, running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, debuted in Vietnam in May at VND3.5 million (US$165) a handset.
The Lumia 520, meanwhile, has played a key part for Nokia and Microsoft with 12 million activations by July. Last year it became the best-selling Windows device in the world, selling more units than any other model of Windows phone, PC or tablet.
Nokia’s handset business, once the global market dominator, was sold to U.S. software titan Microsoft on April 25 this year.
“Nokia Vietnam has since been informed that Microsoft would reduce its manufacturing operations in China and focus its phone production in Vietnam,” the company said.
Under Microsoft’s new strategy, phone production will be focused mainly in Vietnam, as the U.S. tech giant will shut down its manufacturing operations in Komaron, Hungary, while reducing the operation scales of its plants in China’s Dongguan and Beijing, according to Nokia Vietnam.
The Nokia plant in Reynosa, Mexico, will be converted into a repair facility in order to shift production to Vietnam.
To this end, Microsoft is transferring all of the equipment and machinery at the closed plants from China, Hungary, and Mexico to the Southeast Asian country.
By the end of this year, the production lines at the Vietnamese facility will increase to 39 from the current six, Nokia Vietnam said, adding it will recruit thousands of additional workers to manage the enlarged production scale.
By the end of 2013, Nokia had invested more than $157 million into its Vietnamese operations. The Nokia Bac Ninh plant exported 10 million products worth more than $193 million last year.
Vietnam is already home to the manufacturing plants of many giant phone makers, who also arrived in the country after scaling back operations in China.
The world’s leading smartphone maker Samsung is running four projects in Vietnam, while LG also has operations in the country.