Smartphone maker Xolo will ramp up its 4G portfolio with handsets priced between Rs 4,500-10,000 over the next few months to cash in on the burgeoning demand for LTE-supporting devices following the commercial rollout of Reliance Jio’s service.
Xolo, a sub-brand of home-grown handset maker Lava, is also looking at entering the wearables category this fiscal. “Come September, we will launch one model a month. Going ahead, all our products will be 4G-enabled. The new phones will be priced between Rs 4,500 and Rs 10,000,” Xolo Business Head Sunil Raina said. He added the company will not compete just on the basis of pricing but also the experience.
Raina said 4G handsets already comprise about 70 per cent of the smartphone shipment in the country. In India, operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone already offer 4G services, which allows faster access and download speeds to users. India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally. According to research firm IDC, 27.5 million
smartphones were shipped in April-June 2016 quarter.
In the said quarter, Reliance Jio – which will roll out its commercial services tomorrow – has already cornered 6.8 per cent share of the market in its test phase. While Reliance Jio has its own LYF brand of smartphones, it has also partnered 20 brands (including Lava and Xolo) to offer unlimited data and voice calling for 90 days to customers of these companies.
However, from tomorrow, Reliance Jio’s offer of free voice calling and cheap data tariff can be available across all 4G-enabled handsets. Talking about competition, Raina said, “software will be our way of differentiation. “We have a team of 30 people in Bengaluru who are working on this to ensure our customers have a wonderful experience on our devices,” he said.
Raina said the company will also foray into the wearables category but avoid TVs as of now. “We have watches in the planning stage. You don’t have to be first in the segment, we were waiting for the segment to mature and we think it has grown. We should be able to launch wearables within this fiscal but not categories like TVs,” he added.