Domestic handset major Micromax will strengthen support for regional languages on its devices and is launching two new smartphones supporting 12 Indian languages.
“We see regional language, 4G and online and mid premium segment as key levers of growth for the smartphone category in India. Regional language support is probably the most overlooked.
“Based on our research, we found that consumers do not upgrade because of lack of convenience and language inhibitions, contrary to the popular belief of price being the biggest barrier for most of the people wanting to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones,” Micromax Chief Marketing Officer Shubhajit Sen told PTI.
The two new smartphones – Unite 4 and Unite 4 pro – will come with Indus OS 2.0, which supports 12 Indian regional languages.
“Unite 4 and Unite 4 pro will bring together an ecosystem of device, services, local language and Internet. The launch is ably supported by a powerful 360 degree marketing campaign on the theme of ‘Angrezipanti ko Dikhao Angootha’,” he said.
For Micromax, the Unite series has seen sales of over 2.5 million units till date.
Sen said about 300 million people in India, who are willing to move to smartphones over the next three years, have not done so because they are uncomfortable using a smartphone in English.
“The Unite 4 and Unite 4 Pro will also target a large cross section of existing smartphone users who are ready to upgrade their smartphone experience to unlock the benefits of the connected world in their preferred regional language,” Sen added.
“This is also partly due to the lack of support for vernacular languages supported by apps and UI in the smartphones. Just one in every 10 Indian mobile phone users can understand or converse fluently in English. That is a market that we are looking at tapping into,” Indus OS CEO Rakesh Deshmukh said.
Indus’ OS (earlier version) is currently available in 35 other Micromax smartphones.
Indus OS 2.0 comes preloaded with a complete smartphone ecosystem in 12 regional languages and has features like Indus Swipe, hybrid keyboard, Text-to-Speech, Indus-to-Indus free SMS services and App Bazaar (regional language app marketplace).
Indus OS claims to be ranked second among operating systems (OS) in the country with four million users.
“We are adding close to half a million users every month and expect to double this figure within the next six months, with an aim to reach 100 million customers by 2018. Our aim is to make the smartphone experience simplified and localised for audiences in their native language and to provide a mobile ecosystem that bridges India’s digital divide,” Deshmukh said.
The Unite 4, priced at Rs 6,999, features a 5-inch display, 1GHz quadcore processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB memory (expandable up to 64GB), 8MP rear and 5MP front camera, 2,500 mAh battery and a fingerprint scanner.
It will be sold through offline retailers.
On the other hand, Unite Pro 4 will be available with e-tailer Snapdeal. It has a 1.3 GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB memory (expandable up to 32GB), 3,900 mAh battery and is priced at Rs 7,499.