With Quad-core mobiles under 15K, What will the Biggies do?
You must have read the recent announcement from Micromax. They will launch a quad-core phone this February in the price bracket of 15K. You can read more details on the Micromax A116 canvas mobile, we published earlier. I am not going to repeat the specs here. They are as good as any phone above 20K have in the market and the quad core. Well, this baby was till now available in the 30K range only.
With this phone Micromax is not only challenging the big guns, it is changing the whole smartphone picture. Recently, I wrote an article about what new things will come in the smart phone market. Till then, there was always an option that the quad-core phones will become cheaper. I expected this to happen soon, but in all honesty, not this quickly.
This means that other companies will have to bring down the cost of their smartphones or bring the quad core in the 20K range if they want to fight Micromax.
Now, being an Indian company, Micromax will not command the same kind of elite aura that is associated with Sony, Samsung or HTC. Heck! Sony is even thinking about leaving the whole cheap smartphone arena to focus on the high-end phones. Even with all this, we have seen Micromax’ Canvas series phones selling like hot-cakes because they are such value for money. Now, this phone beats even its old predecessors.
How is current Smartphone Market placed in India
Let us look at the current market for a second. Samsung has its best phones with Quad core and anything below 30K is having a dual core. Same is the case with HTC.
HTC has yet to launch its 5” phone in the Indian market (Micromax Canvas A116 HD is 5”). Sony’s first 5” and quad core phone Xperia Z is just out and has similar specs as A116 (except the camera). Also, there is still time for it to be launched in India. Windows phones are still sporting Dual-cores…no quad-cores there yet!
This pretty much clears the fact that A116 is a high end phone without the “high end” price tag. Add the price tag and the competition it actually has (the lower end phones of high end companies) and there is no competition of any kind. It has a stock Android Jelly Bean 4.1 (upgradeable to 4.2) which is being praised and thus has no need of any skin.
What will the biggies do?
The question is- What do the rest of the companies do? They cannot launch the 4 cores in the midrange yet. That is their next upgrade and cash cow.
They can of course hope that because of its screen size and name many people will leave it even with its worth. They can reduce the current price of their phones. These things though are temporary solutions and also remember- Micromax is planning to launch nearly 30 phones in next 12 months, and it is quite possible that half of them would be high-end smartphones. If they have already reached a quad core, imagine what their next high-end phone will have!
Thus unless the phone has some glaring defect, it has the potential to turn hardcore fans of other companies to at least test this one out. Of course, unless you are not interested in the 5” screen!
One thing I can say with surety though – The Rs. 40k price-point will now become more of a Rs. 30k price point. What I mean is the top-of-the-line phones were generally commanding prices closer to 40k. With Micromax launching A116 canvas at Rs. 15k, I doubt anyone will not even think of buying a Rs. 40k phone. That price point will now be 30k. We will increasingly see high-end phones coming in bracket lesser than Rs. 30k.
What are your views? Has Micromax created a gem?