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|03-20-2017, 05:43||#1 (permalink)|
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Micromax to launch 4G-enabled feature phone soon
NEW DELHI: Home-bred handset maker Micromax is aiming to sell 5-6 million units of its upcoming Bharat 1 VoLTE feature phone and Bharat 2 VoLTE smartphone in India over the next 5 to 6 months, which will help it enhance its overall market share and better compete with Chinese and domestic handset makers, Micromax Chief Marketing Officer Shubhajit Sen told ETTelecom its India Mobile Congress event.
Sen said that the telco is in talks with telecom operators regarding collaboration for these devices. "We are working on technologies which would be of high interest to the operators in India," he said.
While Bharat 2 is going to be launched in about two weeks, Bharat 1 will be launched post the launch of Bharat 2. The company will also come up with Bharat 3. Sen didn't share further details.
However, the devices will be open devices and not be co-branded, and they will be manufactured in India.
Bharat 2 is going to be the first Google+ approved phone to be priced below Rs 3000, the phone will be a 4G VoLTE smartphone. The device will have a Java based OS instead of Android. Bharat 1 is going to be Micromax's first 4G VoLTE feature phone which is going to be priced at Rs 1999.
"Because of some of the operators giving free voice calls over 4G VoLTE, we're seeing a spike in the demand of 4G VoLTE feature phones. On the other hand, Bharat 2 is going to totally disrupt the entry level smartphone segment," said Sen, adding that a lot of demand will be coming from tier and tier 3 cities.
Both these devices will be targeted at taking mobile banking to the masses, and may have a back link to digital wallets offered by Transerv and the ability to pay offline merchants through mVisa.
"Right now we're focussing a lot on payments as an area we can add value to," said Sen when asked about its focus areas.
In January, the government held a meeting of Indian smartphone manufacturers Karbonn, Intex, Micromax and Lava where it asked companies to come up with 4G VoLTE devices that cost less than Rs 2000.
Micromax has slumped to five in the overall rankings, out of the top five for smartphones. However, the company which is manufacturing 70-75%of its devices in India is hopeful of gaining top spots by the end of April-June quarter.
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