Spice to launch its Android One smartphone costing around Rs. 6,000 before Diwali

Recently, Indian smartphone vendor Celkon partnered with Google to launch Android One smartphones in India. Now on Wednesday, indigenous smartphone manufacturer Spice has claimed that it will bring the highly anticipated Android One smartphones in India before Diwali. The handset is much awaited owing to its low price tag of about Rs. 6,000.

Android One

Google announced the Android One initiative and had partnered with Micromax, Spice, Karbonn and Celkon in an effort to launch smartphones under $100 (approx. Rs 6,000). These low cost smartphones are believed to fuel the already existing tough competition.

Regarding the upcoming launch, Spice Retail CEO Devices T M Ramakrishnan told PTI, "We will have the handsets in before Diwali. These phones are designed for driving connectivity at affordable prices. We were chosen for our innovation, we are among the chosen few to work with these global giants to bring these devices to India.”

The firm has an ultimate aim to increase it revenues rapidly in the country by 40 percent to Rs 2,000 crore this fiscal year. Confirming this, he added, "Last year, our revenues were Rs. 1,400 crore and this year, we expect it to grow Rs. 2,000 crore (fiscal ending June 2015). We expect to grow our market share to over 4 percent from about 2.2 percent now."

The smartphone industry in the country witnessed a three-fold increase in the sales with over 44 million units in 2013. Most of these units were achieved by the local vendors including Micromax and Karbonn as per research firm IDC. On the global front, it is Samsung that is a dominant player holding 35 percent market share followed by Micromax with 15 percent and Karbonn with 10 percent respectively.

In the emerging markets of Asia and Africa, the smartphone market is driven by the massive sales of smartphones priced below Rs 7,000 from manufacturers such as ZTE, Huawei, Micromax and Karbonn.

Moreover, Spice has invested Rs 160 crore during the current fiscal year for numerous advertising and marketing campaigns. The Spice executive added, "About 85 percent of our portfolio is priced under Rs. 8,000. We are focussed on tier II and III cities and towns. Though we have higher priced models as well, but we are seeing very high growth rates between 250-300 percent in the smaller markets."

Spice has also revealed that it will be bringing Firefox OS powered smartphones in India as well at the same time, costing around $25 (approx Rs 1500). No word on specifications of both the smartphones, but expect the Spice's Android One smartphone to feature a dual-core MediaTek CPU, dual-SIM functionality, FM radio and a WVGA display.