TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan remains the only post-Soviet country in Central Asia producing mobile devices. China's ZTE launched mobile phone production in Uzbekistan's Jizzakh special industrial zone in July 2013, but the first Uzbek smartphones appeared even earlier, anhor.uz reports.
The first smartphones were assembled in Uzbekistan by a Chinese company in 2009 and were distributed by Komtel company. However, Komtel phones were too expensive and disappeared from sale that same year. Another attempt was smartphones of Artel trademark, with China'sHuawei behind the project. Their sales started in December 2012, and they are selling to the present day. Olive Telecom, an Indian producer of mobile devices, has now entered the Uzbek market. The company is already assembling smartphones and tablet computers in Uzbekistan. The first Uzbek tablet computer of Uzbek-Indian joint venture Olive Telecom was presented in May 2014. In 2011 Uzbekistan's national telecommunications company Uzbektelecom and India's Olive Telecommunication signed a memorandum to set up a joint venture to produce smartphones, tablet computers, and other devices in the Navoi special industrial zone. The project's price tag was around $6 million, and its implementation started in 2012. The joint company plans not only to saturate the domestic market with locally-made smartphones and tablet computers, but also to start their export. According to some estimates, Uzbekistan currently produces 600 thousand mobile devices a year and may increase their production up to two million-2.5 million per year.