There is no denying the fact that the budget smartphones segment in the country is the most heated up right now with domestic and foreign handset-makers trying to get more market share by impressing you - the consumers.
While few of the companies have adopted the aggressive pricing technique, some of them are still going strong on specifications. And if you happen to be planning to buy a budget smartphone, then China’s Transsion Holdings plans to add another range of handsets to the basket that you have to choose from.
The company, which specialises in research and development (R&D), production, sales and service of handsets, has launched its budget smartphones brand - itel - quietly in the country. Transsion has two other smartphone brands - Tecno, which is a premium brand and Infinix, which is for the tech-savvy consumer. Transsion’s after sales service brand is called Carlcare.
The company, which is dominant in Africa, is expected to have started operations in January and has already placed its offline distribution sales channel in place. “itel is a more budget offering from Transsion and our products drives more value by offering more features which are more consumer-oriented,” Sudhir Kumar, CEO of itel India and former product head at Intex, said adding that itel will have three series of phones in the country - Selfie Pro, Power Pro and the Wish series. Currently, Micromax, Intex, Karbonn and Lava dominate the budget handset segment.
The company, which has factories in China and Ethiopia, also said that it will start manufacturing in India in Noida and start exporting products to Africa soon. “We have a phased approach towards manufacturing in the country. We will begin in Noida with over a million devices a month which will include a 100 percent manufacturing of all our feature phones,” Kumar said adding the company was scouting locations in places like Andhra or Maharashtra which are closer to ports to open a larger facility in the future.
Transsion claims that it had sold 46 million devices globally in 2014 and 59.2 million devices in 2015. The company aims to sell 80 million devices in 2016 which will include India.
“For our entire operations we are looking at hiring 800 people in the next eight months and 200 of them are already on board,” Kumar further explained adding that the handsets were designed specific to the country.
itel handsets will be available offline only and promises to offer features like selfie camera and wireless FM in feature phones. It’s most premium smartphone will be priced at something around Rs 6,000, which runs Marshmallow out of the box.
However, the company is expected to garner more profits in its operations due to its strong presence in Africa. India, which is the company’s latest destination, falls between China and Africa and hence units which are made here and doesn’t sell here can be sold in Africa. “The cost of freight comes down due to India’s proximity with China, Africa and Middle-Eastern markets,” Kumar said adding that “since Transsion could complete the journey from manufacturing to servicing on its own, it would prove to be a formidable force to reckon with.”