Indian consumers will now have more choice of mobile phones in addition to Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, et al. The latest to hit the markets are the Blackberry Pearl from Hutch and Fly mobiles from Meridian. Now smartphones need not cost the earth.
With Indian consumers ready to change handsets frequently and demanding more and more features, the latest entrants are sure to carve a niche for themselves.
“The Blackberry Pearl demonstrates how small and intelligent a multi-media smartphone can be,” said Harit Nagpal, Director-Marketing and New Business Development, Hutchison Essar India.
“It’s a fantastic phone for both work and leisure use and we believe our customers will find that the Blackberry Pearl is an exceptional smartphone for all of their communications needs,” he added.
Another recent entrant is Meridian Mobile, part of the UK-based Meridian Group, which has launched its flagship brand of GSM phones, ‘Fly’, in India. Meridian has tied up with Japanese company Toshiba to launch ‘Fly Toshiba’.
Speaking on the tie-up with Toshiba, Rajiv Khanna, CEO, India Operations, said, “With the success of Fly mobile phones within a short span of time in the Indian market, we are launching several new models, including Fly Toshiba TS2060, which has been jointly developed by Meridian and Toshiba..”
Equipped with a 1.3 mega pixel camera with flash and 8 MB internal memory, Fly Toshiba TS2060 is priced at Rs 9,490. Fly SL 500i, a slider phone with 1.3 mega pixel camera with flash and expandable memory is priced at Rs 10,990.
Outlining the vision for the company, Khanna said, “Our product roadmap is very vibrant and will differentiate us easily. Meridian currently has eight models in the Indian market, and is scheduled to launch four additional models next month. Industry specialists, including the media, have extensively reviewed Fly mobile phones and their response has been encouraging.”
Meridian currently has the highest average selling price in the industry. Having consolidated its position in the Rs 7,000-Rs 11,000 price segment, the company is now planning to launch phones in the Rs 5,000 range.
Speaking on the promotional aspect, Khanna said, “Our marketing strategy is to focus on store branding and forging alliances with retailers. We have already forged alliances with retailers like Pantaloon, Subhiksha, and Phone Shoppe, to name a few, and Fly handsets are available at their outlets all over India.”