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Today, mobile phones which are used by many across the globe have become an important part of our lives. Moreover, most of us have completed the transition from feature phones to smartphones as these new smart devices help us do more and the total user experience is far better than a feature phone.
However, the story is quite different when it comes to one of the world's largest mobile market India. The migration has rather been slow and a large population is still deprived of data connectivity. To put it plainly, India is still a feature phone-driven market.
The good thing though is that, while handset manufacturers are working on making smartphones more advanced, they are also shifting their focus on feature phones. A number of handset makers are now launching 4G-enabled low-end feature phones as well as smartphones.
Brands like Reliance Jio has already made a statement with its release of JioPhone and now Micromax also seems to be focused on delivering a phone with similar features. The company has just recently launched Bharat 1 (in partnership with BSNL) and Bharat 2 Ultra (in partnership with Vodafone) 4G handsets in the market. And these two 4G feature phones have been specifically designed to help bridge the digital divide and connect the users with the unexplored.
Meanwhile, as JioPhone has eventually accelerated upgrades within the feature phone segment, Micromax has further said that it will be bringing new 4G feature phones as well as affordable smartphones in the market. The move could basically be to counter JioPhone.
In any case, Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics has also told Gizbot, "we will be launching new products in the affordable segment in Canvas series wherein you will see some more compelling products in this segment." Sharma has also pointed out that the company is strengthening its position in the INR 9,000-INR 15,000 category and is aiming to garner 10 percent share in the category over the next six months.
"Micromax wants to be a complete consumer electronic player. We will continue to grow our affordable 4G smartphone segment and bring our volume leadership back within the next couple of quarters," he added.
Micromax will also be doing things differently according to the company's executive. "Even in marketing, for us, it's not about painting the town in a color or bombarding the users with one message. For us it is more about creating best in class experience by working on our backend strategy," Sharma said.
"In terms of pricing, we felt that there will be a consolidation in the 10-20K segment. In 2016, the mid-premium segment i.e. the 10-20 K segment jumped to 25 percent of the category as compared to 17 percent in 2015 which is a clear 89 percent growth. And we felt that this category will consolidate. We clearly saw this trend to continue in 2017 as well. In the beginning of the year, we aligned our product roadmap as per the industry trends. All our products are aesthetically positioned."
Apart from the different categories of smartphones and the price, the company is also focusing on manufacturing most of the products in India. "In the years to come, we will focus on manufacturing more components in India itself, in line with industry participation," Sharma stated. "Going ahead we will be aligning our product roadmap that will be focused as per the industry trends and bringing in newer innovations for our consumers."