Huawei to launch cheap smartphones in India

Friday, December 10, 2010, 16:57 by Tech Correspondent

Huawei plans to become a standalone brand in the Indian mobile phone market. The first device from the company will run on Google Android and will cost less than Rs. 10,000. This smartphone should arrive here within the next couple of weeks.

The company’s latest handset series, Hangout, and its Android phones called IDEOS, will be powered by Qualcomm chipsets that are designed to support and leverage 3G networks and services. Huawei’s Hangout phones are capable of using GSM, CDMA and UMTS and there are to be different devices for customers looking for entry level, mid-range or high-end phones. For distribution, Huawei is tying up with the large multi-brand retail outlets across the country. Don’t miss: Dirt-cheap 3G phones in India

huawei ideos photo

Photo: Huawei's Android 2.2. phone Ideos

Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei has been producing infrastructural equipment in India as well as handsets that it bundled with network connections from Reliance Communications and other operators. So far, it has been catering to the equipment needs of telecom operators in India. It’s only now that Huawei has decided to sell its products directly to consumers.

Huawei has plans to introduce an entire range of personal devices that include tablets, smartphones, feature phones and basic devices in India. Huawei’s products have always undercut the going market price in India and the company intends to keep up this trend. According to the head of public relations and branding at Huawei India, Suresh Vaidyanathan, the company realizes that efficient pricing is highly valued in India. It’s a part of that affordable pricing scheme only under which the company is introducing its new sub-Rs. 10,000 Android smartphone, which, as Vaidyanathan points out, is about 66 percent the price of most other Android smartphones available in India.

Huawei’s IDEOS Android smartphone, which runs on Android 2.2 Froyo OS, was launched in the United Kingdom recently and costs about $240 there. This is about how much any similar device would cost in the U.K., so it seems likely that Huawei is developing particularly inexpensive products only for the Indian market. However, technology website CNET, which reviewed the IDEOS, says the phone has a cheap body but the workings of a good Android phone. Vaidyanathan, meanwhile, assures that Huawei would preserve device quality standards as well.

Android smartphones in the United States usually cost about $200 and come with a two-year network contract, which takes their actual retail price to about $450.

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