Datawind To Unveil a Rs 3,000 4G LTE Smartphone with 1 Year Unlimited Browsing!
4G is a necessity today and it is far better than the low quality 2G and 3G services we were getting till the middle of this year. Large handset makers are now focusing on delivering smartphones which are 4G LTE ready and not very expensive for the customers. DataWind, which was primarily focusing on making low cost tablets, (namely Aakash Tablet) is back in the business with the idea of manufacturing low cost 4G LTE smartphones.
The Canada based company is planning to launch budget sub-Rs 3,000 4G LTE ready smartphones in India, as commented to Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind. Talking to PTI, Tuli said, “We will launch a 4G device for about Rs 3,000 with free unlimited 4G browsing for 12 months.” With the 4G market relatively new and with huge potential as compared to other countries, it lures a lot of players to invest in this country.
DataWind had launched the ultra-low cost tablet Aakash, with the help of the Government of India, in 2012 in the country, targeting the youth and college going students specifically. However, that project was a failure, sue to various reasons including sub-par specifications.
DataWind now wants to be successful with their low cost 4G smartphone in India, an area yet unexplored. DataWind is already gearing up for the launch of cheapest smartphone in the country at Rs. 999, in association with Reliance Communications.
Tuli mentioned that they are in talks with Airtel and Reliance both to provide 4G services for the smartphone buyers. It would make sense for DataWind to bundle 4G offers with the smartphone to provide faster services. DataWind feels that mid-2016 is the right time to launch the smartphones, for the 4G LTE market will have matured by then and they would be just in time to launch with phones with enough supply.
Two manufacturing units being set-up in India
Going with the Digital India theme and Make in India campaign, DataWind plans to invest Rs 200 Crores in setting up of two manufacturing units in the country by early 2016 so as to start the production of the two smartphones. Since the phones will be made locally, the prices can be expected to be very low, while still maintaining quality.
On manufacturing investment, Tuli added, “We have recently raised Rs 180 crore from the Toronto Stock Exchange and have additional lines of credit and, therefore, we are well poised to start manufacturing in the next six months.”
In a six month time frame, we could see the launch of smartphones from larger companies, however some might not dare to go lower than Rs 3,000 mark. At the moment India has a lot of contenders in the sub-Rs 10,000 category.