DataWind wants to reproduce its USP for the tablet market in the smartphone market too. The makers of the Aakash tablet on Tuesday announced three Android smartphones priced between R1,999 and R5,499. The new range of PocketSurfer smartphones, launched in collaboration with Reliance, comes with an unlimited internet browsing for a year.
“Majority of the population in India still do not use a smartphone and are not connected to the internet. Affordable smartphones, alone, cannot help the masses to be connected. We need to provide something on the connectivity front as well to take mobile internet to the masses,” said Suneet Singh Tuli, president and CEO, DataWind.
The free internet access does not include audio/video streaming or local downloads. Users will have to buy separate data plans for extra usage.
“Users can browse for free completely even if they do not have sufficient account balance. Reliance will charge us and not the customer for browsing. They can also access social media sites like Facebook for free,” said Tuli. The new smartphones are GSM handsets with dual SIM card slots.
The DataWind CEO also announced the company’s plans to manufacture in India. “In support of the new government’s ‘Make in India’ vision, we commit that within 90 days around 90% of our production will be shifted to India.We aim to create at least a thousand new jobs in the market within this year,” said Tuli. At present, DataWind’s manufacturing units are based out of China.
The new PocketSurfer smartphones will be available on Naaptol’s TV, print and online shopping platforms starting March 17. It will also be available at Sangeetha Mobiles, Spice Hotspot retail and other retail partners.
The most affordable in the new range is called PocketSurfer 2G4. Priced at R1,999, the 2G dual SIM smartphone sports a 3.5-inch capacitive display and runs on a 1GHz single core CPU with 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card.
The 3G-enabled PocketSurfer 3G4 smartphone sports a 4-inch capacitive display with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels and runs on a 1.2GHz dual core processor and Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. The dual-SIM, GSM handset supports 3G and 2G connectivity is priced at R2,999.
The 5-inch PocketSurfer 3G5 smartphone is priced at R5,499. It runs on a 1.2GHz dual core CPU with 512MB RAM and 4G ROM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card.