Marking its entry into new price bracket in the smartphone category, domestic handset maker Lava International on Wednesday launched two 4G-enabled smartphones ranging between R11,500 - R18,000.
Marking its entry into new price bracket in the smartphone category, domestic handset maker Lava International on Wednesday launched two 4G-enabled smartphones ranging between R11,500 – R18,000. From an average smartphone price of R5,000 until now, Lava is now moving to higher price segment of R10,000 on an average.
This is the first time Lava has launched smartphones in the mid- price segment.
“With this launch, we are starting a new journey to cater to new kind of a consumer, who is aware, educated and not a first time smartphone buyer, and therefore know what they want in a smartphone,” said Gaurav Nigam, Product Head, Lava International.
While the company is entering higher smartphone price bracket, it is shrinking its portfolio to ensure higher revenues next fiscal, and a larger pie of Indian smartphone market. “We had 16-18 handsets last year, but we will not have more than seven handsets in our portfolio this year,” Nigam said.
He said that the company is only reducing its portfolio size and not its volumes. “We have a strong conviction that we will be able to sell more than what we sell today, and our market share and volumes are going to increase,” Nigam added.
In terms of its product line, Nigam said that Lava will have 100% VoLTE/4G smartphones this year priced up to R18,000. Last year, the company had only 40% of 4G-enabled phones.
In January, the government held a meeting of Indian smartphone manufacturers Karbonn, Intex, Micromax and Lava where it asked these vendors to make 4G VoLTE devices that cost less than 2,000. On this, Nigam said that the current supply chain constraints will not allow a decent VoLTE smartphone to be made below R2,000, hence Lava does not plan to launch a smartphone in this price band.
The company’s renewed product strategy comes in the wake of Chinese handset players crowding the affordable smartphone segment of sub-R5,000 category in India. Chinese brands have already pushed out Indian mobile phone makers from the top five slots in India’s smartphone segment. At the end 2016, Lava had 9 % market share of the Indian mobile phone market, as per research firm IDC.