Micromax Partners With MoFirst For Local Language Smartphone OS & Apps
Leading Indian handset manufacturer Micromax has announced partnership with Mumbai based MoFirst solutions, the company that provides local language translation and transliteration services as well regional app store that has over 5000 apps in Hindi, reports ET.
Micromax has forged this partnership to create differentiation in their offering in increasingly crowded Smartphone market in India. With multiple Chinese smartphone brands getting popular over past 12 to 18 months, it is increasingly becoming difficult for Micromax to play on handset hardware value proposition alone.
As of today, less than 10 percent or about 125 million Indians speak or understand English. However, people using Smartphones are much higher (200 million or so ?) in number, and growing rapidly. One of the biggest challenges that non-english speaking Smartphone users face is, they are unable to use apps due to language barrier given that most of the app available today are in English. MoFirst partnership will help Micromax in catering to the needs to these users.
What Does MoFirst Offer?
MoFirst calls itself “A Regional Mobile Ecosystem” on their website and for a good reason. They offer world’s first regional language Smartphone Operating system called FirstTouch.
MoFirst has a patented regional language keyboard that supports 10 Indian languages with over 2 lac words in each language. The keyboard has unique swipe technology which can translate and transliterate a message in 10 Indian languages with a simple swipe on the smartphone screen. The user has to just swipe left to transliterate, swipe right to translate.
The keyboard offers support for 10 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odiya and Gujarati.
Another important offering that will help Micromax users tremendously is MoFirst’s Regional App Bazaar that has over 5000 popular smartphone apps in various Indian languages. The App Bazaar features apps like Skype among others.
Interestingly, MoFirst’s website mentions that users can pay for these apps with integrated carrier billing gateway. However, they have not mentioned names of the operators that they have forged tie-ups with.
While the partnership announcement has just come out, it seems Micromax has been working with MoFirst for sometime now. Recently, Micromax launched Canvas Unite 3 phone which had MoFirst’s FirstTouch Indic language OS. The OS essentially works like any other launcher app on Android Smartphone, however, everything is available in regional language of user’s choice.
In a recent interview Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja shared some interesting numbers, he said, “Though our books audit is not complete yet for the last FY, our revenue has already crossed Rs 10,000 crore”. They first Indian mobile handset manufacturer to get to that revenue milestone. Now, with MoFirst partnership in place, they plan to push their sales further by targeting non-english speaking smartphone population.