Indus OS, which is an India-based smartphone operating system built on Android, has announced a partnership with China’s based itel Mobiles. The Chinese company, which has so far been playing in the feature phone segment in India, plans to launch smartphones in the market and these will come integrated with Indus OS.
In an interaction with indianexpress.com, Indus OS CEO and co-founder Rakesh Deshmukh explained the reason why the company was tying up with a new player like itel. “We recently opened one of our offices in China. We’ve been looking for a partner that is fairly aggressive and itel is one of these players. It is already number two in the feature phone segment in India and is looking at the smartphone market next,” he explained.
Indus OS comes with customisatons for the Indian market, including the company’s own Indus App Bazaar, which has apps designed for the country. It also comes swipe gestures, etc, which allow for transliteration and support for over 12 Indian languages. The company claims to have a 4.6 per cent volume share in India, where different kinds of operating systems are concerned. In 2016, Indus OS had a marginally higher share at over 5 per cent.
While Indus OS was earlier pre-loaded on some phones from Micromax, Karbonn, Intex, etc, the fall of the Indian smartphone manufacturers has meant the company is now looking towards China. This also explains the partnership with itel Mobile, which is a sub-brand of China-based Transsion Holdings. The latter also has other brands in the market like Tecno and Infinix Mobiles, which are playing in the smartphone category in India. With the itel brand, the focus has been on more affordable feature phones and budget-based smartphone.
According to Deshmukh, Indus OS can provide key software differentiation to a brand like itel Mobile. He also added that itel plans to launch more smartphones in India with Indus OS pre-loaded on them. When asked if Indus OS was also targeting other smartphone players from China, Deshmukh said they were in talks but would not confirm any names since the partnerships have not been formalised.
“As we look to offer the Indus experience to wider audiences, our association with itel takes us a step closer towards our goal of reaching a user base of 100 million by 2020. This localised focus is something which itel users will benefit from,” he added.