Indian smartphone brands plan comeback with new launches scheduled soon

Indian smartphone brands plan comeback with new launches scheduled soon

Indian smartphone makers are planning to make a comeback, thanks to the government’s new schemes to boost manufacturing in the domestic market.

Responding to a Twitter user on Thursday, homegrown brand Micromax said it is coming up with something soon. “Glad to see your support for #VocalForLocal. We are working hard internally and soon we will come up with something big. Stay tuned,” the company wrote.

Micromax isn’t the only brand that’s planning new launches though. According to Tejinder Singh, head of product, Lava International, the company is planning new launches in the coming days as well. “We have utilised this time to completely revamp our portfolio, both for smartphones as well as for feature phones,” he said. “Over the next few months, we will be adding unique propositions to our portfolio which will cater to the needs of every Indian,” he added.

According to a high ranking official from an Indian smartphone brand, the Indian side of this industry is planning launches across the board. Brands like Karbonn and Intex are also looking to launch new smartphones in the coming months, the official said. Shashin Devsare, Executive Director of Karbonn Mobiles, confirmed that the company is working on entry and mid-level smartphones.

While the move seems like it is meant to take advantage of the anti-China sentiments doing the rounds in the country, the official cited above said it’s only a coincidence and such plans have been in the works for a while. The Indian government recently announced three new schemes to boost electronic manufacturing, and said it will pick five “Indian champions” for the coveted production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

“With Government’s incentives, especially the PLI scheme, we plan to invest heavily into our smartphone business with additional focus on Design and expect to be able to replicate our feature phone success story in the smartphone category as well,” said Lava’s Singh.

That said, the anti-China sentiments could help the brands as well. “People are actually avoiding buying to buy Chinese smartphones. For the first time in so many months my smartphone share for Samsung has increased to a great extent as compared to Vivo and others,” said a national smartphone retailer.

However, the retailer said that Chinese brands are far from being in any trouble yet, because even if consumers try to move away from them, their options will be very limited right now. Samsung and Motorola are pretty much the only other option, and they usually price phones higher than the Chinese competition, the retailer said. Indian brands could come in and provide more competition.

“The new government schemes will enable brands like us to invest heavily into R&D and manufacturing, thus making our products globally competitive,” said Singh of Lava International.