At least some Indian smartphone manufacturers are working on devices powered by Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 820 processor, the chip maker’s India head Sunil Lalvani told IndianExpress.com without naming the OEMs. This is significant as Indian manufacturers don’t usually pick up high-end chips meant for flagship devices. “There is a lot of interest in the new feature set on offer, so we are speaking to a few Indian OEMs,” he said.
With Xiaomi Mi5, one of the first few devices with the Snapdragon 820 chipset, expected to be priced in the range of Rs 25,000 with an India launch on the horizon soon, it is likely that local brands like Micromax and Intex will try and bring in value for money devices with flagship specifications as soon as possible.
However, the Indian brands we spoke to refused to divulge their “product roadmap” for this year.
Till now about half a dozen brands, including Samsung, LG, Sony and Le Eco, have adopted the new Snapdragon 820 processors. Tim McDonough, senior vice-president of marketing at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, told IndianExpress.com that at least 100 designs were being worked on for the first wave of Snapdragon 820 devices. With at least six devices already announced, we can be rest assured that the next couple of quarters will see devices with the high-processor appearing across price points.
“Users in India are becoming more demanding and this is where there will be considerable traction for Snapdragon 820 devices,” Lalvani said on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“A lot of Indian OEMS are looking to move up the value chain. For instance, Micromax launched Yutopia with the Snapdragon 810 chipset in December. This is because the market is also moving up the value chain due to the move from 2G to 4G. Also, this is the tier the Indian OEMs want to cater to from a value and margin perspective to take on Chinese companies on a global stage,” he added.
“The trend we are seeing is of people graduating from 2G devices to affordable 4G devices and those already on 3G upgrading to mid-range 4G devices with good feature sets,” he added. “At the end of the day, there are many factors driving buying behaviour and the processor is definitely one of them,” Lalvani said.
Underlining how virtual reality will be the kind of immersive experience demanded by the young India market, Lalvani said: “Indian companies are not lagging behind in anyway. Micromax, for instance, was quick to adopt Cyanogen and offer a differentiated user experience for the Indian market.”