Chinese handset maker Transsion Holdings will introduce its smartphone brand ‘Tecno’ in India this month, further intensifying competition in one of the world’s largest mobile phone markets. “India is our top priority market across the group and the 58 countries that we operate in, including Middle East and Africa,” Transsion Holdings Vice President Arif Chowdhury told PTI. He added that the company is examining prospects of setting up local manufacturing and a research and development team in India to tap into the opportunity here.
Chowdhury, however, declined to comment on investment details and market share that the company was aiming for in the Indian market. Transsion had launched its ‘itel’ brand in India last year and is now exploring the potential of launching its third brand — Infinix — in the country.
In the past few months, India has seen Chinese mobile phone brands like Lenovo, Vivo and Oppo swarming the market and gain market share. With a new player coming in, competition in the multi- billion Indian handset market is set to intensify further. According to research firm IDC, 25.8 million smartphones were shipped to India in October-December quarter of 2016. Of this, the share of China-based vendors stood at 46 per cent.
Apart from Korean player Samsung that led the market in the said quarter, others in the top 5 tally — Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo — were all Chinese players. Transsion’s ‘itel’ brand stood at the second spot in the overall mobile phone market in the last quarter of 2016. “We will launch four smartphones – i3, i3 Pro, i5 and i5 Pro in the Indian market and then, our flagship in May, in the Rs 8,000–15,000 price range,” Chowdhury said. Except for the entry-level model, all other devices will have a fingerprint scanner and improved selfie technology with front and back LED flashes.
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“These products have been developed exclusively for India, these are not available in any other country,” he said. While these devices will initially be available in Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat, the company will go pan-India by the end of the year. “We have a complete ‘offline’ focus. In the three states where we are starting, we have partnered about 10,000 retailers through 129 local distributors,” he said.
Chowdhury added that the company would also look at setting up its own service centres in India, a model it has followed in other parts of the world.