Apple's ex-CEO to launch smartphones in India [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mumbai: Obi Mobiles, the mobile brand of Inflexionpoint, an IT supply chain company co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, on Thursday announced the launch of its operations in the Indian market.
Headquartered in Gurgaon, Obi Mobiles will be led by Ajay Sharma as CEO. Sharma has over 30 years of experience and a strong legacy of association with Micromax and HTC as their smartphone division head.
Designed for India, under extensive technical and consumer testing, the mobile handsets by Obi Mobiles are expected to hit the Indian markets by early May 2014.
Obi Mobiles plans to invest $20 million this year to set up the supply chain, design centre and sales/after-sales in key locations across India.
The company aims to focus on mid-range smartphones and says it will introduce affordable smartphones with superior technology.
It also plans to take the brand to markets in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America after the Indian market.
Dragon Technology and Iris Computers, the two subsidiaries of Inflexionpoint will provide design and testing, and distribution facilities to Obi Mobiles.
Sculley said in a statement that the Indian economy is seeing a radical shift since the last decade; the emergence of the knowledge economy has created a large services sector.
"I see a huge opportunity in fulfilling the requirements of growing and prospering middle class. India leads in mobile phone penetration," said Sculley.
However owing to the delay in implementation of 3G services and high smartphone prices, the smartphone share in India is only 20%, leaving larger part of the ground with opportunities yet to be tapped, he said.
"The scenario hence becomes a favourable and attractive chance for us to launch Obi Mobiles and offer the best of the smartphone with an apt pricing model," he said.
It is expected that about 30 million smartphones will be sold in India every quarter going forward. Tapping this scenario, Obi Mobiles aims to connect next 500 million phone users (of the total 700 million mobile users) to Internet through smartphones in India. The company plans to offer unparalleled user experience through unique services like data management ability to optimize data costs, best in class user interface features and intriguing apps.
Ajay Sharma, CEO, Obi Mobiles, said, "India's smartphone market still has many opportunities to offer in terms of mobile features and value added services. Obi Mobiles will be catering to the needs of young Indians who want to own a mobile phone with latest technology, features and are also seeking value for money. These are also the major factors why young Indians replace their handsets quite frequently."
He said that it is a good time to enter this space considering the advent of 3G and 4G services, increasing affordable mobile internet plans, rising popularity of internet based communications and social media platforms coupled with availability of local content.
"Additionally, with access to branding and marketing guidance from John Sculley and a well experienced team that we have built, we look forward to reaping the benefits of the intense smartphone demand in India."
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