Print Edition - 2012-11-03 | MONEY
Budget Android phones selling like hot cakes
Nov 2, 2012-
Ever since its launch in the global market in 2007, Google’s Android, an operating system (OS) designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers, has become successful in driving the cell phone market across the globe. Laden with latest technologies and features, the OS has been increasing its penetration massively, with global biggies like Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC adopting the software.
And in Nepal too, more and more people are adapting it to enhance their cell phone using experience. While a huge number smartphone users have already switched to handsets powered by Android OS, as many people are waiting for Android devices that suit their budgets.
Sensing this eagerness of the general customers, a number of mobile companies like Colors, Micromax, G’Five and Karbonn have come up with Android handsets in competitive price ranges. Moreover, these handsets, priced in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 18,000, have features similar to those in high-end smartphones which may cost Rs 50,000-60,000. Traders say penetration of Android-powered handsets in the domestic market is increasing significantly and is likely to hold a dominant position within the near future.
“It has not been long since we introduced Android smartphones in the domestic market. However, we are very pleased with their performance,” said Geeta Neupane, marketing manager at Teletalk, the sole authorised distributor of Colors Mobile for Nepal.
Teletalk markets three Android smartphone variants — Colors X Factor, X Factor Mini and X Factor Plus — which are priced at Rs 8,999, Rs 7,495 and Rs 10,555, respectively. All these handsets were launched in August, and within such a small time, these phones account for around 20 percent of the company’s overall sales.
According to Neupane, not only the penetration of Android smartphones is increasing in major cities, but the growth is also substantial in semi-urban areas. “Mostly youngsters aged between 16 and 25 years are sifting to these feature-laden devices,” Neupane said.
Anju Mittal, marketing executive at Call Mobility, which deals in handsets from G’Five, said its new handsets G’Five A79 and G95 which were unveiled last month, have been receiving an overwhelming response across the country. “Nowadays, people look for maximum utility and our handsets are no less than any other devices priced higher,” Mittal said, adding the company plans to increase its concentration in handsets powered by Android OS. The G’Five A79 and G95 have been priced at Rs 10,450 and Rs 17,000, respectively.
Another prominent brand Micromax, which offers a single Android handset in Nepal, the Micromax A 60, too is witnessing similar demand. “A couple of handsets running on Android will hit the stands within this month,” said Alina Shakya, executive at Network Solution, the sole authorised distributor of Micromax Mobiles for Nepal.
According to Shakya, budget handsets are still the largest selling devices in the domestic market.
“The market is bound to rise as many people in rural areas are still not aware of its utility,” Shakya said. The handset from Micromax is available for Rs 9,560.
Published: 03-11-2012 09:41