Micromax, the No. 1 among local smartphone brands in India, has announced its partnership with MediaTek and Aircel, India’s fifth largest operator, aimed to come up with best mobile experience for the Indian users. The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G data card, Funbook Mini 410i Android tablet, A090 and X070 smartphones. The smartphones will be available across the retail outlets across India from April, 2014.
This strategic alliance is also aimed at the development of a local version of MediaTek’s new “super-mid market” approach as descibed in my earlier MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 4, 2014] post. Here is the illustration of what is the envisaged future state-of-the-market:
versus the current one:
With more than $1 billion of revenue for its latest fiscal year ending March 31 and almost 8 million smartphones delivered in 2013 (18% of the market) Micromax is the company to watch how MediaTek’s new approach will work on this fast growing smartphone market. Look at the following chart to grasp the immense growth potential:
As per IDC producing the above chart:
The overall phone market stood at close to 257 million units in CY 2013 – an 18% increase from 218 million units in CY2012.
CY2013 also witnessed a remarkable migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones primarily due to the narrowing price gaps between these product categories.
As per another Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]:
India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.
Micromax somewhat underperformed on its home market last year according to this chart:
A detailed analysis of that situation could be found in 2013 Review: Micromax loses market share in Q2 and Q3 [daily.bhaskar.com, March 20, 2014] from which the most important details are:
In 2012 Micromax launched the Canvas 2 A110. This was a hot-seller when the young generation around colleges, in buses and in metros were actually talking about the handset. The Canvas HD A116 followed in early 2013 with 9000 pieces in the initial phase. Less than 24 hours and this Rs. 13990 [$229] phone was gone! Though Micromax was criticized for getting less number of pieces into the market and keeping customers wait, we have to admit this was a best-seller. People did wait for 2 months to get their piece of Canvas HD.
After this Micromax went ahead with costly flagships. It launched Canvas 4 and Canvas Turbo last year apart from other budget launches (that silently made way to stores) throughout the year. It took to premium smartphones with prices like Rs. 17999 [$296] and Rs. 19999 $327. Though these handsets got good reviews but they could not create the craze like the earlier Canvas 2 and Canvas HD. We definitely missed the ‘dus hazaar mein aur kya chahiye yaar?’ last year. (What more do you want in a Rs. 10000 [$167] phone about the Canvas 2?) We have seen people talking about Micromax Canvas 2 or HD outside phone stores being out of stock and in demand. Too bad on our part, but that’s the recall value associated with these two phones.
Competitors has their best budget phones launching during the year 2013. In the first part of the year 2013 Samsung launched Galaxy Grand series of large display screen phones, Sony and HTC went down for launch of budget phones and so did Nokia with its new Lumia phones. Competition was no doubt increased by the end of 2013.
… The market shares dropped from 22% in Q2 2013 to 17.1% in Q3, 2013. This was the time when Samsung gained from 26% in Q2 2013 to 32.9% in Q3 2013. The launch of Galaxy Grand Quattro and Galaxy Mega happened in May at a price of Rs. 16990. The Canvas HD that was launched in mid of February in 2013 was getting delivered till June in the year after its on-and-off appearance in stores.
Note that Canvas HD launched in Q1 2013 started shipping and available in stores by the Q2 2013. The low cost Canvas Viva 5-incher also saw a launch in Q2 2013 and was popular. There were more than two dozen of budget launches from the company in 2013. See 12 top Micromax launches in 2013. …
This analysis has even found that Micromax’s Q1’14 move went wrong:
Micromax has just launched its new phone in the market, the Canvas Knight with cutting edge specs and a beautiful body that can compete with the most premium handsets in the market. The new Canvas knight A350 has been placed at a higher price point of Rs. 20K (Precisely Rs. 19999 [$327]).
According to the ex-regular and (most of the time) an authentic leakster Micromax got only 830 pieces for sale initially. The handset was expected to be a best-seller for Micromax and ideally should go out of the stock very soon (we expected it to be out of stock in less than 12 hours). But this did not happen with the Canvas Knight. Even after 24 hours of Day 1 of launch the phone was still in stock. On Day 3 morning when we checked the status it finally showed a waiting period of at least 7-10 days. That is some 40-48 hours to sell 830 number of phones.
so this analysis concludes:
The trend has been towards…
According to the research firm IDC, markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.
Competitors tried to fit themselves in less than Rs. 15000 [$245.5] price bracket. Nokia, Sony. HTC, now Blackberry are planning their smart moves in this direction. Check out our other speculations for the year – Top 10 trends for Indian smartphone market for year 2014
For 2014 the competition will be more tough with Nokia X series, low-cost Moto phones and other budget smartphones. Micromax probably needs to launch low-cost flagship (as one of its flagship phones in a year) that can make it a talk of streets again! We are waiting for Q1 2014 results to know if the Canvas Knight could become the next Canvas HD for the company?
Instead of such expectation Micromax decided to innovate via another route in Q2’13 by providing bundled Aircel offers, i.e. operator based offerings, to which it invited MediaTek innovation in the user experience space, all aimed at a range of complete solution offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device when sold unbundled:
Micromax to hit $1 billion revenue this fiscal
[PTI [Press Trust of India] via The Economic Times … BGR India, March 20, 2014]
Helped by growing sales of its affordable and entry-level smartphones, homegrown handset maker Micromax expects to hit $1 billion (over Rs 6,100 crore) in revenues this fiscal, ending March 31.
The New Delhi-headquartered company’s revenues were Rs 3,168 crore [$518 million] for the financial year 2012-13.
Micromax, which is the second largest smartphone player in India, held about 16 percent market share in Q4 2013. Some of the top selling models were the entry level smartphones like A35 Bolt and A67, IDC data showed.
The Canvas range of devices has also done well in terms of volume contribution owing to the marketing campaigns launched around them.
“We have seen huge growth in business, especially in the smartphone category (mid and entry-level). We expect to close this fiscal will a billion in revenues,” Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.
The firm will continue to launch innovative and affordable products for the market across platforms, he added.
“We will introduce a product based on Android Kitkat with in the next 60 days,” Jain said.
Asked if the company would introduce a device with Windows Phone OS, he said the company is in discussions with Microsoft on bringing out “products relevant to the Indian market”.
Micromax today announced a strategic partnership with chipset maker MediaTek and telecom services provider Aircel.
“This is aimed at offering the best out-of-the-box experiences for the Indian users and the partnership will see a unique amalgamation of the expertise of the three companies,” Jain said.
While, Aircel will offer one stop solutions to address the increasing data demands, MediaTek along-with Micromax’s expertise in product design and performance will redefine the user experience creating a win-win ecosystem for the Indian users, he added.
Under this alliance, Aircel will team up with Micromax to introduce a range of offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device.
Powered by MediaTek chipsets, the devices promise to deliver a seamless and a powerful user experience, while the bundled Aircel offers will drive data growth in the country.
The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G, Funbook Mini 410i, A090 and X070 – to be available next month.
The co-developed smart devices by the three pioneers will deliver seamless experience for consumers, driving enhanced performance and data experience for customers across the country.
Micromax, MediaTek & Aircel Partner For The Best Mobile Experience For The Indian Consumers On The Go! [joint press release via … Gizbot … EFYTimes …, March 20, 2014]
In pursuit to strengthen the mobile eco-system in India, Micromax, India’s 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer, today announced a strategic partnership with MediaTek, one of the leading chipset manufacturers and Aircel. Aimed at offering the best out of the box experiences for the Indian users, the partnership will see a unique amalgamation of the expertise of the three companies. While Aircel will offer one stop solutions to address the increasing data demands, MediaTek along-with Micromax’s expertise in product design and performance will redefine the user experience creating a win-win ecosystem for the Indian users.
Under this alliance, Aircel will team up with Micromax to introduce a range of offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device. Powered by MediaTek chipsets, the devices promise to deliver a seamless and a powerful user experience, while the bundled Aircel offers will drive data growth in the country. The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G, Funbook Mini 410i, A090 and X070. The co-developed smart devices by the three pioneers will deliver seamless experience for the consumers, driving enhanced performance and data experience for customers across the country.
The products will be available across the retail outlets across the country from April, 2014. Aircel has launched bundled offers with Micromax devices which will give customers exciting benefits worth more than Rs. 10,000 [$164]:
Micromax Dongle – MMX 377G
(Benefits for 6 months)
Aircel customers can get exciting data benefits for 6 months at Rs. 141 [$2.31]
For the first 3 months, customers will get 2GB/month data
For the next 3 months – customers will get double data value for every recharge
Smartphones and Tablets (Benefits for 3 months)
1GB data per month
1.2P/2 sec Local Calling
1.2P/ sec STD Calling
WAP content worth Rs. 10,000 [$164]
Popkorn TV App Free
Data Enabled Feature Phones (Benefits for 3 months)
500MB data per month
1.2P/2 sec Local Calling
Local. 1.2P/sec STD Calling
WAP content worth Rs. 10,000 [$164]
Commenting on the partnership, Vikas Jain, Co-founder, Micromax, said, “At Micromax, we have constantly strived to democratize technologies for the masses by bringing alive unique and customized products and offerings for our consumers. Entering a new phase, our focus is now to provide seamless solutions to the consumers using their smart devices, thereby concentrating a large chunk of our efforts on coming up with products and services which act as solutions to the needs of the fast-evolving consumers. This partnership exemplifies the same endeavor, and we are very delighted to pioneer with MediaTek and Aircel, two pioneers in their own respective domains. While MediaTek supports us with the hardware, Aircel offers customized offerings for consumers to get a complete, affordable and seamless data experience across the country“
My insert here Exclusive: Micromax will Launch its Hexa Core smartphone in April 2014 in India [GadgetsToUse.Com, March 20, 2014]
In an Interview with GadgetsToUse.Com, Micromax Co-founder Vikas Jain confirmed that Micromax has completed internal testing of its up-coming Hexa Core smartphone based on MT6591 chipset and this new phone will be launched by the end of April 2014. Micromax also confirmed that its LapTab will indeed launch and that to in the same time frame.
Interview with Micromax, Co Founder Vikas Jain About Laptop India Launch, Hexa Core Phone [GadgetsToUse YouTube channel, March 20, 2014]
[ As per Micromax Canvas LapTab confirmed to arrive in April 2014 in India [GadgetsToUse.Com, March 20, 2014] LapTab is an 1.46GHz Intel Celeron processor based device, with a 10.1 inch IPS LCD display, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. Despite of the fact that neither Microsoft nor Google are keen on supporting dual boot devices, the LapTab enjoy the productivity of Windows 8.1 Platform and richness of Android 4.2 jelly bean on a single device, but the transition won’t be seamless. You will have to reboot the device to switch between two operating systems. It is expected to be priced between Rs. 25,000 [$409] and Rs. 30,000 [$490] . ]
Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel, said, “Aircel has positioned itself well as a data leader by constantly innovating products and services aimed at redefining user experience, which essentially is the youth. While there are many factors driving internet adoption in India; one key factor is the evolution of devices such as smart phones and tablets. Today’s youth are well informed on the data consumption patterns and therefore smart devices becomes an integrated tool to propel consumption of videos, social TV, HD gaming, content on demand etc. Keeping in line with consumer’s needs and demands, Aircel is bullish on device tie ups. We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Micromax to offer exciting bundled benefits of their newly launched smart devices.” He further added, “According to a study, the number of telecom subscribers in India accessing the internet through mobile devices is increasing and will reach 350 million by 2015. This clearly indicates that mobile devices and data connectivity is undoubtedly the future of mobile telephony.”
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager – Business Development at MediaTek, said, “For the first time, this unique tri-partnership between MediaTek, Micromax and Aircel provides the end-consumers both unparalleled benefits as well as unparalleled choice. Buyers do not only get benefits equivalent to the value of device they buy, but also a seamless and bundled value-add for data, voice and messaging across the entire product segmentation that includes dual-core smart phones, feature phones, 3G Tablets and 3G data card dongles. Hailing the beginning of the post-PC era, our MT6572, MT6260, MT8377 and MT6280 chipsets offer harmonized platforms to empower fast, powerful, smart and inclusive devices that cater to the emerging ‘super-mid’ market.”
Interview with Mediatek, General Manager Dr Finbarr About 4G Chipset, India Prices, Hexa MT6591, … [GadgetsToUse YouTube channel, March 20, 2014]
Visit http://www.gadgetstouse.com – to read more detailed reviews, hands on and overview of smartphones
Further details about MediaTek’s new “super-mid market” approach you can find in my earlier MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 4, 2014] post.
Filed under: Geopolitics, smartphones, tablets Tagged: Aircel, Aircel and MediaTek strategic alliance, bundled Aircel offers, data cards, dual boot devices, India, innovation in the user experience, LapTab, MediaTek, MediaTek rebranding, Micromax, Micromax LapTab, MT6260, MT6280, MT6572, MT6591, MT8377, smartphone market in India, super-mid market