India will soon have a new smartphone maker. Obi Mobiles is aiming for the mid-range where all manufactures are hoping to make a killing in the coming years.
A release said the Gurgaon-based Obi Mobiles plans to invest $20 million this year to set up the supply chain, design centre and sales/aftersales in the key centres across India.
The company seems to be thinking different from the start. Instead of roping in a celebrity like most other brands, Obi Mobiles has roped in American entrepreneur John Sculley, then man who famously fires Steve Jobs when he took over as CEO of Apple Inc.
“India leads in mobile phone penetration. However owing to the delay in implementation of 3G services and high smartphone prices, the smartphone share in India is only 20%, leaving larger part of the ground with opportunities yet to be tapped,” said Sculley in a release. “The scenario becomes a favourable and attractive chance for us to launch Obi Mobiles and offer the best of the smartphone with an apt pricing model.” Sculley is co-founder and managing partner at Inflexionpoint, which is promoting Obi Mobiles.
Ajay Sharma, who has earlier worked with brands like Micromax and HTC, is the CEO. “We feel that it is a good time to enter this space considering the advent of 3G and 4G services, increasing affordable mobile internet plans, rising popularity of internet based communications and social media platforms coupled with availability of local content,” he said.
The first phones from the brand are expected to reach India early next month.