Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mobile handsets, made in India!

Indian budget 2010, provided one year exception for Mobile phones, its accessories and spare parts, if they are from Indigenous origin. Initially I took this very lightly, as just another attempt to encourage the kiddy players in this highly crowded market dominated by giants like Nokia, moto, LG and cheap level Chinese products, sold without warranty.

On one of my friends request, I reviewed the Indian made mobile handset providers, that was a combo shock of surprise and disenchant feel.

Surprise is for the span, variety, features and costing labels offered by them. Most of them offer Dual SIM and some special models feature Three SIMs, two GSM + one CDMA. The first touch of Indian-ness in the manufacturing process. Some more additional features include, UV currency checker, Torch, FM recording and Bass enhancer. These are the particular demands of Indian Customer, which were seen to be neglected by all MNC mobile makers. The another approach is cost. Some of the really lucrative features packed around or less than 5k Rs. What else a middle class person will ask for...perfect.

This is resulting into something really great. Dual SIM handsets are growing more than 100% per year. Growth mostly driven by need of maintaining more mobile numbers together and solutions offered at cheaper price. For Example, Intex, launched first first 3 SIM handset at Rs. 4700/- and Karbann mobiles costing at 5200/-. Sudhir Kumar, national sales manager - telecom, Intex Tech. said,, "Even smaller towns and cities are gearing up for dual and triple-SIM handsets because they are very practical."

There is another side as well. These manufacturers are not doing charity, neither they got any subsidy. These handset are compromising somewhere or the other. Most of them carries Plastic casing, less rigid build quality (not for all models but observed mostly), average camera performance and lack of dedicated applications for the medium/high range handsets, are all the pointed edges to crown.

I compared Videocon V1675 with Nokia E73 together, and the result is disappointing. V1675 is good copy of Blackberry design, UI, QWERTY and all other. Keys are hard, noisy, response is not upto the mark, Social Networking Applications are disappointing and overall, I will prefer China-made E73 copy handset which is almost 1k less in cost, performs equally.

Finally one can hire any other resources, but capital is available on hire for anyone. Cost is the ultimate truth, in mobile, in electronics and in LIFE...


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