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Philips returns to Indian mobile handset market

Posted: 30 May 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile  handset  feature phone  smartphone  Philips 

Philips is making a comeback to the Indian mobile handset market with the launch of three smartphones and a feature phone in the coming months, reports from The Financial Express and The Economic Times said.

Philips used to sell feature phones here in the early 2000s. The company slowly disappeared in the handset market as local device makers attracted more buyers with their cheaper phones. China Electronics Corporation (CEC) then acquired Philips' mobile phone business in 2007.

This time, Philips is riding on the highly competitive smartphone market in the country. Its aim is to be among the top six players before the year ends. The company is set to release its new range of smartphones: W6610, W3500, and S308. Philips, however, will still target the low-end segment as it prepares its feature phone E130.

The handsets are expected to cost between Rs1,960 to Rs20,650 and will be launched by Sang Fei Consumer Communications Co, a subsidiary of CEC that holds the exclusive licence for Philips' mobile phones brand.

Apart from Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and Sony, Philips will also have to face domestic giants Micromax and Karbonn. Other players that the company will compete with include Motorola, China's Xiaomi, and Obi, owned by former Apple CEO John Sculley.

Although majority of Indians still use feature phones (78 per cent, according to IDC), smartphones are slowly overtaking the market. IDC said sales in the country reached over 44 million in 2013 from 16.2 million in 2012 as more smartphones become affordable.

Cyber Media Research data also showed that smartphone shipments in India more than doubled in the first quarter of 2014 to 14.5 million units as compared to only 6.6 million in the same period last year.





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