So the smartphone has finally breached the Rs 2,000 barrier in India. And it took an Indian manufacturer to tie up with a year-old mobile platform to do it. The Intex Cloud Fx will have a price tag of Rs 1,999 and will be the best bet for a lot of people to access the Internet. The phone has a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen which should keep people in this product catergory happy along with the 2G/3G dual SIM support.
The phone will initially be available only on Snapdeal.com, which you might think will prevent a lot of people in the target audience from getting to the phone. But Keshav Bansal, director marketing at Intex Technologies, says the etailer will take the product to 400 towns in India, especially the Tier 2 and 3 cities. He said the company is confident of selling half a million units of the phone this year with their “massive marketing plan”. Intex has presence in 50,000 outlet, 10,000 of which sell their smartphones.
“Our motto is to empower each and every Indian with the latest technology. We must understand that 70 per cent of Indian mobile phone users are still using feature phones and they aspire for a smartphone,” said Bansal.
For Firefox, this is the first the ultra-low cost model in the world and the first in Asia. Incidentally, Spice Mobiles had announced its Firefox phone, the Spice Fire One Mi – FX 1, on Friday with a Rs 2,299 price tag. However, Jane Hsu, director of product marketing at Mozilla Corporation, clarified that the Cloud Fx will the first phone to start selling in India, available online from today. She said learnings from a diverse market like India will help the company become successful in other geograpies. Hsu said Mozilla was already interacting with all leading manufacturers in India and the OS was open for anyone to adopt.
Firefox smarptphones will have adopter among those who are looking to upgrade from a medium range feature phone to a full-fledged smartphone. At the moment Firefox seems to have a price advantage over Android, with even the Spice phone being at least 15 per cent cheaper. Bansal said they were able to achieve the sub-Rs 2,000 price point primarily due to the investments made on R&D and manufacturing over the past many month. “We have some economies of scale and the chipsets from Spectrum also present a cost advantage,” said Bansal, adding that the margins were very thin for a phone like this.
Intex mobile business head Sanjay Kumar Kalirona said Indian users will have not trouble adjusting to the icon-heavy interface of the Firefox OS as there is no learning involved. “The OS is user friendly and we are also providing support in local languages.”
As an added incentive for buyers, Airtel is offering 1GB free data for two months. Firefox anyway compresses data and is less data intensive than other operating systems.
SPECS: Intex Cloud FX runs on Firefox OS powered by a Spectrum 6821 1.0 GHz processor and 128MB RAM. It has internal memory of 256MB, which can be expanded up to 4GB. The 3.5” HVGA is powered by a 1250mAh lithium-ion battery. It has a 2 MP Rear camera, but no front camera.