Intel plans to make mobile phones in Serbia

BELGRADE -- U.S. tech giant Intel plans to make "a domestic phone at a domestic price in Serbia" - and give the new device "a domestic name" - Tesla.

John Davis (Tanjug)
John Davis (Tanjug)

The company's Vice President John Davis is currently visiting Serbia where he is meeting with state officials. He told the public broadcaster RTS on Thursday that Intel plans to "start making mobile phones in Serbia," initially 50,000 devices, named "Tesla" - after Serbian-American scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla.

Davis said that this would be "a domestic phone with a domestic price," and added:

"Our plan is to manufacture mobile phones in Serbia. We should choose the phone and the model, and at which price it would be sold, with Intel's software. It would certainly be a domestic phone with a domestic name."

According to him, the device's camera technology would be designed by Serbian software engineers. Asked about the value of such an investment, Davis said it was "not about dollars, but about raising and building capacities" - in Serbia specifically, the focus would be on "engaging domestic experts, increasing employment, and education."

"We are making plans now, but our goal is for this to happen next year. Everything can happen very quickly, we have done it in other countries. Serbian companies have the capacity to be our partners in mobile phone manufacturing," Davis was quoted as saying.

Earlier in the day, he met with Trade and Communications Minister Rasim Ljajić, and Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.

The government issued statements after both meetings, to say that Ljajić and Davis "spoke about expansion of business of the corporation in the field of information and communication technologies in the market of our country."

Davis pointed out that Intel "plans to take part in training programmes for teachers in primary schools in Serbia, which would be implemented in cooperation with state institutions," said the statement, and added that he "informed Ljajic about Intel’s plans regarding assembly of mobile phones."

Ivica Dačić said during his meeting with Intel's official that the Serbian government "supports the rapid development of information technology in Serbia in cooperation with major international companies in IT sector."

Dačić said that the government "supports the cooperation of local companies with Intel in the software development industry and the production of modern equipment."

They "agreed that Intel and other major international companies in this field could raise the level of education in this field in Serbia."

The prime minister "stressed that Serbia has ambitions to become a regional leader in IT technology and is on the right track to achieving this goal in cooperation with the largest companies in the world," his office said in a statement after the meeting.