Philips re-enters Indian handset mkt; launches four devices

PTI Posted online: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Marking its comeback to the Indian mobile handset market, electronics giant Philips today said it will launch 3-4 new smartphones and feature phones in the next few months.

The company, which sold only feature phones in India in early 2000s, is also betting big on the burgeoning smartphone market in the country, aiming to be among the top six players in the category by December-end.

It also announced a new range of smartphones -- W6610, W3500, S308 -- and a feature phone E130 targeting professionals and technology enthusiasts. The handsets are priced between Rs 1,960-20,650.

"Over the past months, we have strengthened our distribution and are now geared up for the Indian market. We are launching four new devices, one feature and three smartphones, and in the next few months, we will bring in more devices," Shenzhen Sang Fei Consumer Communications Co Ltd Country Manager India S S Bassi told PTI.

Sang Fei is a subsidiary of China Electronics Corporation (CEC) that owns the exclusive global licence to market and sell mobile phones under the 'Philips' brand.

India is an important market and the company is focused at bringing in products relevant to the needs of the country, Bassi said.

"One of the devices to be launched includes the I928, which is a six-inch phablet featuring the latest Android Kitkat operating system, octacore 1.7 GHz processor. It will have a 13 megapixel rear camera, a 5 MP front camera and could be priced at about Rs 35,000," he said.

The company has partnered Redington to distribute its products and Accel Frontline for managing after sales service.

Asked about revenue and market share targeted, Bassi declined to divulge specific details but said the company would target "to be among the top six smartphone players in the country by December-end".

According to Cyber Media Research data, smartphone shipments in India more than doubled to 14.5 million units in January-March this year from 6.6 million in the year-ago period with more than half of handsets shipped being 3G enabled.

As per research firm IDC, smartphone sales in the country grew almost three-fold to over 44 million in 2013 from 16.2 million in 2012, buoyed by a strong uptake of affordable devices.