Recently, I’ve been following the low cost (budget) phones in India. One such phone really got my attention is Micromax Canvas A100, a 5 inch phablet at Rs 10,000. It was really a decent pone, however, with some quirks for the price you pay. Primarily what it was lacking is a faster processor and much needed RAM for the sheer size of the display. Now Micromax have launched an upgraded version of the phone called Micromax Canvas 2 A110. Well, its almost the same specs but an upgraded processor to 1 GHz MTK dual core and an 8 MP camera. Before I say its good or bad, lets look at how Indian crowd has received the phone.
Reviews from Flipkart.
A 4.6 rating with 355 customers rated the phone as 5 stars. I’m sure it should be a good phone looking at all those reviews.
Well, the main intention of this blog post is not to review the phone, however, to trace the origin of this phone and compare the competition. You all probably know that Micromax and Karbon are the leading low end, low cost phone manufactures in India. I probably should have said providers instead of Manufactures, I don’t think they manufacture these phones in India! They probably get these phones from China, rebranded as per their requirements.
Let’s look at some pictures of Micromax Canvas 2 A110 and a Chinese phone called Beidou Chi.
Micromax Canvas 2 A110 – Image courtesy: www.flipkart.com
Beidou Chi – Image courtesy: www.gizchina.com
So, you get the point. The origin of the very popular Indian rebranded phone is a Chinese made, rebranded and sold in India under Micromax Canvas. Now lets come to the pricing.
Micromax Canvas 2 A110 is being sold by various online retailers and also available in the retail stores across various cities in India. Let’s take the best price given by most online retailers, it’s available for Rs. 9999 which is roughly $181. GizChina.com reports that the Chinese manufactures is going to sell Beidou Chi for $128. It’s not the local price in China, I’m talking about but the price for exporting. I mean any one can order this phone from China which will be shipped internationally. Of course you might have to pay some shipping charges, and I do think it will be nominal, say $ 10-15. So the point here is that Micromax or Karbon will get these phones for even lesser price than the Chinese manufacturer sells to Individual customer. There is definitely a great opportunity to grab the market share in India by selling at even lower cost lets say at the price point of Rs 5000-7000 with probably lesser margins.
What if the Chinese manufactures starts selling these phones directly in India at a much lower price compared to Micromax or Karbon. Yes, they will definitely take the market by a storm! Provided they have a good local presence where customers can go and experience the phone before buying and of course a very good support and service centers locally in India.
The local presence is already happening. A Chinese phone manufacturer called Zopo already have a local presence in India (online as of now!) and selling the phones to customers directly from their website. The phone which I’m really interested and can give a tough competition to Indian brands is a 5.3 inch Zopo ZP 900 Leader. Of course the specs are really impressive for the price you pay which costs Rs 15,999 in India.
Image courtesy – http://zopomobiles.com/
Do Indian companies like Micromax and Karbon have the strategy to take on the direct competition from Chinese companies with their local presence. What do you think and what would you prefer to buy – a rebranded Chinese phone or a Chinese phone ?