Home-bred handset maker Micromax is aiming to sell 5-6 million units of its upcoming Bharat 1 4G VoLTE feature phone and Bharat 2 VoLTE smartphones in India over the next 5-6 months, which will help it increase its overall market share as well as compete better with Chinese and domestic handset makers, Micromax chief marketing officer Shubhajit Sen told ET during the India Mobile Congress event.
Sen said that the handset maker 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.”
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, however, didn’t share further details.
The devices will be open ones and not co-branded, and they will be manufactured in India. ET was the first to report about Micromax’s plans to launch 4G VoLTE feature phones and low-cost 4G smartphones in its March 15 edition.
Bharat 2 is going to be the first Google approved phone to be priced below Rs 3,000 — the phone will be a 4G VoLTE smartphone.
Bharat 1 is going to be Micromax’s first 4G VoLTE feature phone which is going to be priced at Rs 1,999. This device will have aJava-based OS instead of Android.
With of the operators giving free voice calls over 4G VoLTE, we’re seeing a spike in demand for 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 the tier-II and III cities.
“Right now, we’re focusing a lot on payments as an area we can add value to,” said Sen, when asked about the company’s 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 2,000.
Micromax has slumped to the fifth slot 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 regaining top spots by the end of April-June quarter.