Olive plans to launch Android smartphones

Monday, January 3, 2011, 11:28 by Tech Correspondent

Olive Communications plans to launch a range of Android smartphones, the high-end version of which will compete with Galaxy S, a popular Android phone of which Samsung aims to sell 10 million units.

Olive, an Indian technology brand, is going to launch a series of Android phones in early 2011, when the Indian smartphone market will be perhaps crowded already. TelecomYatra, a mobile news website earlier quoted Arun Khanna, the chairman of Olive Communications as saying that the company will launch a range of Android 2.2 Froyo smartphones in March 2011.

Since Galaxy S has a 1 GHz processor, 800 x 480 pixel display and 720p video recording, we can expect some of these features in the high-end smartphone from Olive as well. We will be waiting to see what Olive would offer us that Samsung Galaxy S already hasn’t. Must read: Buyer’s guide to Android phones in India

olivepad review start screen

Photo: Olive, which created a few ripples with its Olivepad tablet, is coming up with a range of Android smartphones.

Olive Communications already has its OlivePad 7-inch 3G-enabled tablet running on Google Android OS out in the markets. OlivePad comes at a price tag of about Rs 22,000 in India. OlivePad was earlier rumored to be the same as a tablet from ViewSonic which was unveiled around August last year at the IFA technology exhibition in Berlin. It is likely that both brands bought their products from the same original equipment manufacturer.

OlivePad, which can be upgraded to Android 2.2 Froyo, uses Wi-Fi, 3.5G HSUPA and Bluetooth for connectivity, and boasts a 3240 mAh battery. Android Froyo, incidentally, is an inappropriate OS for tablet devices. It is meant for smartphones while the upcoming Google Android Honeycomb OS is meant for tablet PCs.

Olive Communications made an early entry into the tablet market – in mid-2010, when competition was limited to Samsung Galaxy Tab which costs nearly Rs 40,000. At that time the most successful such product, Apple iPad, wasn’t available in India.

Matter of fact, 2011 is previewed to be the “year of the tablet” by many technology companies including Nvidia, Intel, LG and Samsung. But, another camp of thought believes that in emerging markets such as India and China, where a strong market exists for laptops, tablets will be less successful over the next few years because they will have to displace laptops before becoming the primary portable computing device. Related: Upcoming tablet launches at CES 2011

Even so, perhaps there will be sufficient new technology consumers in India over the next couple of years as wireless connectivity continues to become cheaper and more readily available. Olive Communications isn’t the only Indian smartphone and tablet maker, but it is a technology pioneer. The company released OliveFrvrOn, a hybrid phone; OliveZipbook, a 3G embedded netbook; OliveWiz, a first triple SIM card phone; OliveGenie, a 3G music modem and OliveNexus, a pocket router. All these products are firsts in the Indian technology market.