Around the world, there is a huge interest in smartphones that are not made in China. A year ago, this was not the case. Yes; there was some interest in the subject, but it was nothing as hyped up as what we are seeing now since 2020.

Why is there a sudden increased interest in mobile phones, smartphones and tablets that are not made in China? We can start from the age-long suspicion with which Chinese products have been known for – the fear of espionage. In the last one year, this has become an even greater concern, for obvious reasons.

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For starters, the United States government has been on a hard crusade against Chinese manufacturers, with Chinese conglomerate, Huawei, taking a huge brunt of the blow. The US placed a ban on Huawei networks equipment and also restricted the company from being able to do business with American companies.

Now, Huawei is as big as it gets. It was easily the global champion of China. Huawei networks equipment is in use on every continent, including Europe. And Huawei smartphones were selling like hot cake everywhere too. As of 2019, Huawei Mobile was on track to overtaking Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.

The ban on Huawei has meant that its smartphones do not have access to Google’s Mobile Services and apps, and so are less desirable to most people who rely on Google services. That effectively put a clog in the wheel of Huawei’s plans to conquer the world.

Another factor that is fuelling the fresh interest in smartphones that are not made in China is the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The pandemic is reported to have started in China in late 2019, and there have been accusations that the Chinese government held back some critical information that would have triggered a quicker global response to the virus.

As such, there is some rage against China everywhere you turn and some mobile users are hunting for ways to boycott made-in-China products. Since most of the world’s smartphones are now made in China, that is a tough act to pull off.

The Major Attraction For Made-in-China Smartphones

Price-to-value ratio. That is it, in one phrase. In plain English, made-in-China smartphones are cheaper or more affordable than the competition. Why is this so? Economies of scale. China has a huge population, huge landmass, and a huge mass of skilled hands for product manufacturing.

This combination of factors is why most brands in the world today have factories located in China. This includes fashion brands, electronics brands, food, pharmaceuticals, phones, cars, and more.

If it can be made, it is mostly being produced in China. Some manufacturers are trying to change that now, of course. But we will see how it goes.

Some Smartphones That Are Not Made In China

Sony Xperia 1 II zeiss camera is not made in China
Sony Xperia 1 II is not made in China

Sony Xperia 1 II, for example is not made in China. It is manufactured in neighbouring Japan. Japan does not have the economies of scale for manufacturing that China has.

As such, it is only natural that Sony Xperia smartphones cost more than their equivalent Huawei or Xiaomi phones. If you have been wondering why Sony phones have cost more than others, you have a clearer picture now.

Of course, because Sony Mobile itself is a small company on the global scene, that further makes it difficult to match the prices of competing products from China. See The Best Sony Phones Of 2020 and 2021 and Sony Compact Smartphones: If you want your phone powerful and handy.

Most Samsung phones are produced in Korea, so they belong to the class of mobile devices that are not made in China. Do you understand now why the average Samsung smartphone costs more than its counterparts from Xiaomi and others?

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 100x super Resolution Zoom - digital zoom or optical zoom

Most LG phones also cost more than the comparative competition from China. One of the reasons is that LG phones are not manufactured in China. Most are produced in South Korea, the same country where Samsung phones are made. PS: In 2021, LG quit making smartphones, having struggled to be profitable for years.

Somebody is going to ask, Since Apple iPhones are manufactured in China, why do they cost so much? Apple is a different player by itself. iPhones are deliberately expensive by Apple’s choice. That is a different topic from this.

The summary is that smartphones that are not produced in China cost more to produce than their competition from the world’s most populous country. If you are serious about buying a mobile device that is manufactured elsewhere, you have to be ready to pay more for the same set of features and specs.

Not Made In China: The Alternatives and Competitors

There are a few countries that have served as alternatives to China. Some manufacturers have turned to these countries in cases where they do not want to locate their manufacturing in China. One of them is India, another country with similar conditions. India has a large population, as well as skilled and cheap labour.

What phone brands manufacture in India?

Phone makers that produce some or all of their products in India include Apple iPhone, Motorola, IQOO, Realme, Nokia, OPPO, Infinix, Samsung, Vivo, MicroMax, and Lava, among others.

Besides the rise in the number of made in India mobile phones, Vietnam is another country where brands are locating their smartphone manufacturing facilities.

Can I buy a phone not made in China?

Smartphones that are not manufactured in China are becoming increasingly rare. While you can find some to buy, if you look around hard enough, it is difficult, as most modern phones are now manufactured in China. However, there is an increasing number of phones that are made in India.

As you have read up to this point, you will be interested in reading, recommending a non-Chinese smartphone.

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By Mister Mobility

Nigeria's foremost tech blogger and smartphone reviewer. Call me Daddy.

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