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Apple, Samsung, Others Asked To Make Smartphones Based On NavIC Navigation System: Report

Smartphone makers including Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple fear elevated costs and disruptions as the move requires hardware changes, according to a Reuters report

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The government has asked smartphone makers including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and others to soon make their phones compatible with its home-grown NavIC navigation system.

Smartphone makers including Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple fear elevated costs and disruptions as the move requires hardware changes, according to a Reuters report.

The Indian government wants to reduce dependence on foreign systems, including the widely used US Global Positioning System (GPS), and says NavIC provides more accurate domestic navigation and that its use would benefit the economy.

China, the European Union, Japan and Russia have their own global or regional navigation systems to rival GPS. 

Operational since 2018, NavIC's uptake is minimal; it is mandated in public vehicle location trackers, for example.
The government wants to push smartphone giants to make hardware changes to support NavIC, in addition to GPS, in new phones they will sell from January 2023.

As per the report, the representatives of Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and others have cited concerns that making phones NavIC-compliant would require higher research and increase production costs. The changes would also require more testing clearances, which with a Jan 1 deadline would disrupt businesses and planned launches.

The smartphone players have sought time until 2025 to implement the changes, and a final decision is expected in coming days, the report cited a senior government official as saying.

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